Cargo and cruise ship business at Florida seaports is booming. The Florida Ports Council’s “Connecting Commerce: The 2018-2022 Five-Year Florida Seaport Mission Plan,” released Monday, provides the evidence in updated figures on international trade, cargo data and cruise activity.
Said Gov. Rick Scott, “Our state has had an incredible economic turnaround — Florida’s hardworking businesses have created more than 1.5 million private sector jobs since December 2010. This job growth would not be possible without our incredible seaports. Since December 2010, we’ve invested more than $1.4 billion in our seaports, and the ‘2018 Seaport Mission Plan’ highlights how much the ports are growing Florida’s booming economy and supporting seven straight years of record tourism.”
Some highlights of the 2018-2022 plan:
- $83.2 billion in value of Florida’s waterborne trade (4.9 percent increase)
- 16.1 million cruise passengers served
- $54.4 billion in value of containerized cargo moved ($4.3 billion increase)
- Eight of the eleven cargo ports in Florida increasing tonnage, with 24 million tons worth of containers moved
Said Doug Wheeler, Florida Ports Council president and CEO, “Now that Florida ports have the infrastructure to accommodate more cargo, we are seeing steady growth year after year in total cargo tonnage and value of cargo, as well as the number of cruise passengers. With $3.3 billion in capital improvements at Florida’s seaports identified over the next five years, we expect these numbers to continue to grow creating a stable economy for current Floridians and future generations.”