The supply chain shortages hitting retail inventories around the country have motivated Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to invite distributors and shippers to utilize Florida’s ports to ease the bottlenecks in California and other states.
At a press conference in Jacksonville on Tuesday, DeSantis said that ports in the Sunshine State have started to take on different ships and are offering incentives to distributors to re-route goods through the state.
The governor said that the state has the capacity and ability to “help alleviate these logjams.” He said that the Jacksonville port, along with others, is proactive in attracting shipping through incentive programs.
DeSantis pointed out German shipper Hapag-Lloyd as an example of a company that has re-routed cargo to the Jacksonville port. The Ponte Vedra Recorder reported that the company’s route adjustments would bring around 1,000 additional shipping containers through Jacksonville for at least eight weeks. He added that Port Everglades accepts at least two additional container ships with thousands of containers initially scheduled to arrive at different ports.
DeSantis said at his press conference that Florida ports already operate “24/7,” which is what “should be happening anyway.” Since his administration in 2019, he said that Florida had allocated nearly $1 billion to more than 70 seaport infrastructure projects. In July, the state government allocated an additional $250 million to seaport projects.
President Joe Biden announced last week that ports in Southern California would operate around the clock in an attempt to address backlogs, labor shortages, and reduced stock that have all been aggravated by the administration’s federal policies. At that time, at least 25 container ships were waiting to dock and unload at the Port of Los Angeles, with anchorage time running out to more than 11 days.
President of the Florida Ports Council Michael Rubin said last week that Florida is “open for business” and is “the solution to help resolve the global supply chain crisis.” He added that cargo ships can move their products by routing through Florida in less time than they spend “waiting off the coast of California.”