News & Updates

President’s Message: September 2022

Florida seaports continue making moves – moves that are helping Florida’s economy remain among the best in the country. These strategic moves continue to capture more market share as trade lanes continue shifting.

Mike Rubin
President & CEO

In just the last 30 days, Florida ports have seen even more growth, as well as a strong recognition by the federal government that Florida seaports are ideal for growth investments.

JAXPORT will now be the first port of call for Sea Lead Shipping Pte Ltd and T.S. Lines Asia East Coast container service. Port Tampa Bay received a $12.6 million RAISE grant to expand and diversify a berth at its fast-growing Port Redwing, and PortMiami garnered a $16 million RAISE grant for its net zero cargo mobility optimization and resiliency project. Additionally, SeaPort Manatee received nearly $12 million in INFRA grant funding to expand cargo-handling space and a new container yard facility.

We couldn’t flex our muscles to become an even stronger global hub for trade without the support of Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue. Their leadership and strong investments in our ports have helped show the world that Florida is open for business.

We’ve seen tremendous support from the Florida Legislature as well, and we were pleased to recently present Representative Chip LaMarca with the Seaport Champion Award. Thanks to leaders like Rep. LaMarca, Florida’s seaports are seizing the opportunity to secure an even larger share of international trade and related commercial activities.

Seaports are just one vital part of Florida’s overall transportation infrastructure, and that’s why we continue working hand-in-hand with our partners in the transportation industry as well as the manufacturing industry. That’s a message I shared recently at the First Coast Manufacturing Association’s 2022 Symposium, and it’s why several of our port leaders participated in the recent Enterprise Florida Export Sales Mission Trip to Panama, and why our Chair and Port Everglades Port Director Jonathan Daniels participates on the Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition.

As Florida continues its efforts to support seaport transportation and economic development, three new port leaders will serve a two-year term at the helm of the FSTED Council. Paul Anderson, President and CEO of Port Tampa Bay, will serve as Chair, Alex King, Executive Director of Port Panama City, will serve as Vice Chair, and Clark Merritt, Port of Pensacola Port Director, will serve as Secretary. Congratulations to all three.

There is much activity in both the cargo and cruise space taking place at Florida’s 16 seaports, and excitement of even greater things to come. Together, Florida’s seaports will continue making moves.