For more than a year, Americans have had a front-row seat to the supply chain crisis that has disrupted not only the flow of goods and commerce, but has laid bare this man-made crisis in the making.
Cargo ships floating in a virtual parking lot off the West Coast, a reliance on an outdated and congested California trade route, combined with a lack of federal investments led to a supply chain crisis that will continue. Many experts contend this crisis could have been seen coming long before the pandemic.
While this crisis in the making was left simmering for years before COVID-19, Florida was already hard at work strengthening our trade and logistics efforts to help ensure Sunshine State seaports would be ready to compete on an international level. State investments in Florida’s ports helped ensure we would be prepared to capitalize on super-sized post-Panamax ships.
Therefore, when the pandemic hit, Florida was not only prepared – we capitalized. We hit supply chain challenges head-on, sharing with the world how our efficient and uncongested seaports and their 24/7 capabilities provided an attractive alternative to problems seen elsewhere. More and more shipping lines, particularly Asian shipping lines, changed shipping lanes to call on Florida.
Thanks to the support of Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Transportation, additional investments in Florida’s ports continues – helping ensure our seaports take on an even larger share of international trade and logistics efforts.
While I believe that much about the overall national and international supply chain is broken, I’m hopeful that more will evolve from our federal partners to help with this. In recent weeks, Port Tampa Bay and PortMiami were awarded federal REACH grants to help with a new berth and rail system upgrades (read more in this newsletter).
Later this month, Florida’s port leaders will gather for their annual meeting to continue building on this positive momentum. Rest assured, there is much work already in motion to further capitalize on Florida’s forward momentum, and we can’t wait to take our efforts to the next level.