News & Updates

New report shows increases in cargo and cruise for Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 17, 2019) – The Florida Ports Council released today Pathway to Prosperity: The 2019-2023 Five-Year Florida Seaport Mission Plan, prepared by the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development (FSTED) Council as required by Florida Statute. The report provides updated figures on international trade, cargo data and cruise activity at Florida’s seaports, showing increases in both cargo and cruise.

Florida’s seaports generate or sustain about 900,000 jobs and $40 billion in income. Roughly 13.3 percent of state GDP is tied to port activity, and these economic benefits continue to grow as port infrastructure, services and initiatives align with opportunities.

Highlights of the 2019-2023 plan include:

  • $87.3 billion in value of Florida’s waterborne trade (4.9 percent increase)
  • All seven cruise ports in Florida experienced growth in multi-day cruise passengers, with 16.8 million passengers served
  • $57.4 billion in value of containerized cargo moved (5 percent increase) and 4.1 million TEUs handled
  • 110 million tons of cargo moved
  • $3.5 billion in programmed improvements over the next five years

“This report demonstrates how our ports use waterfront assets as gateways to enhance the mobility of freight and passengers, to move production to destinations efficiently, and to put the right products on store shelves at the right time,” said Doug Wheeler, Florida Ports Council President and CEO. “And as they become more efficient, they also work to build environmental sustainability into every port project and activity, with priority initiatives related to air and water quality. They are stewards of port and community safety and security too.”


The Florida Ports Council is the professional association of Florida’s 14 public seaports, providing advocacy, leadership and research on seaport-related issues before state and federal government. Florida’s ports support more than 900,000 jobs in the state and contribute $117 billion to the state’s economy each year. The Florida Ports Council administers the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development Council (FSTED) which is required to provide a 5-year Florida Seaport Mission Plan annually according to F.S. 311.09(3).