How Are Other States Challenging Our Past Investments? - Florida Ports Council

Florida Is Facing Competition on the International Trade Hub Stage

Neighboring States Are Investing Historic Funding In Their Attempts to Encroach On Our Success

Florida's recent success has propelled Florida to its rightful position on the international trade hub stage, but it has also garnered increasing competition from neighboring states and their attempts to encroach on our success. Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently approved an historic $200 million for 31 different seaport projects, that’s more than Florida’s typical $135-$149 million annually for about 14 port infrastructure projects. Georgia, by far Florida’s closest and fiercest competitor, is expanding its Brunswick port facility in an attempt to become the largest hub for automobile imports. This is a very direct threat to Florida’s largest automobile importing seaport.

We literally face a fork in the road decision – we either continue to make significant investments to allow Florida to seize the growing global trade opportunity, or we allow it to pass us by for states like California, Georgia and others on the Eastern seaboard, including New York and New Jersey. As we prepare for the 2024 Legislative Session, lawmakers will be asked to make significant infrastructure investments in our seaports. These investments will shore up dock rehabilitation, increase port capacity, support cargo container handling cranes, improve connectivity, relieve congestion and more. The investments needed are significant, but the results will lead to more jobs for Florida’s growing population, and more revenue to the Sunshine State to support broader growth.