Florida Seaports: Not Just for Cruising

Florida Seaports: Not Just for Cruising

Start-ups and businesses flock to the Sunshine State because of its strategic geographic locations, state-of-the art infrastructures, multilingual workforces, and concentrations of corporate and financial resources.

And to make Florida even more attractive for U.S. and international businesses, the state is investing billions in upgrading and expanding its seaports.

Statewide Economic Impact

Florida’s nationally ranked seaports have an incredible economic impact. The state’s 15 seaports are job generators, supporting 900,000 direct and indirect jobs from Pensacola to Key West and representing nearly $118 billion in total economic activity. Investment in Florida ports helps the state fund other essential needs, as they produce more than $4.2 billion in tax revenue each year.

Supporting Florida’s Tourism Economy

Florida’s seaports also provide support to maintain Florida’s position as the premier destination for family vacations. Florida’s cruise industry is an important part of the tourism economy. Cruisers embarking from Florida ports represent 62 percent of all U.S. cruise passengers. This impressive traffic helped Florida welcome nearly 113 million visitors last year.

Building a Global Presence

Seaports are critical conduits for Florida and U.S. domestic cargo movements and global trade. They help build imports and exports, create new trade and logistics jobs, and expand the value-added services supporting global businesses. Florida’s 15 established and emerging seaports are leaders in the effort to continuously enhance the state’s economy.

As these 15 Florida ports see upgrades and expansions, international companies are taking advantage of the benefits. There has been a growth in business from Mexico, South America, Central America, and Asia businesses.

“We’re seeing growth at our ports,” says Doug Wheeler, President and CEO of the Florida Ports Council. “It benefits everyone on the supply chain and helps the existing port tenants. We’re seeing companies with a manufacturer component recognize that ports can be a value added service and be where they need to be to export or import their products.”

Companies are not the only ones benefiting from the upgrades in seaports. The economy of the state is also feeling the love.

Since 2012, the total economic value of the Florida seaports increased from $101.9 billion to $117.6 billion, and total jobs supported and related to cargo and cruise activity grew by 217,664 within the state.

“Clearly, port infrastructure investments are paying off as Florida further establishes itself as a key player in the global marketplace,” Wheeler says.

Source: Enterprise Florida

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