Ron DeSantis Addresses Supply Chain Crisis: Florida’s Ports Are Open

MIAMI, FLORIDA - JUNE 07: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference held at the Florida National Guard Robert A. Ballard Armory on June 07, 2021 in Miami, Florida. The governor had the press conference to speak about two bills he signed to combat foreign influence and corporate …
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Florida can play a key role in alleviating the nation’s supply chain crisis, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Tuesday, as Florida’s ports remain open, ready, and, in some cases, are offering incentives for businesses to move their cargo through Sunshine State ports.

Speaking from Jacksonville, Florida’s JAXPORT, DeSantis laid out the situation the nation faces, as Americans witness “major disruptions” in the supply chain, citing images of ships docked off the coast of various cities and log jams, which are directly “impacting what we see in terms of our store shelves.” Americans are seeing shortages of products, increased costs of items, and rising gas prices, directly affecting commuters.

In an aerial view, container ships are anchored by the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles as they wait to offload on September 20, 2021 near Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

However, DeSantis said Florida can play a key role in alleviating the mounting issues.

“We in Florida have the ability to help alleviate these log jams and help to ameliorate the problems with the supply chain,” DeSantis said, explaining that Florida has been “long” committed to reliable, modern, accessible port facilities since he became governor in 2019.

Since then, he said, Florida has “allocated almost a billion dollars to over 70 Florida seaport projects and these are approaches that made us really really strong.”

“It really really is the model for the rest of the country,” he said.

“We’re here. We have capacity,” he said, adding that some ports, including JAXPORT, are stepping up and offering incentive packages to businesses that want to move their cargo through these ports. 

“This will make a huge difference. If you think about a place like JAXPORT, you have close to 100 million consumers that live within one day’s drive of JAXPORT,” he said.

Shipping containers are seen at the Jacksonville Port Authourity amid the Coronavirus outbreak on March 27, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. JAXPORT is Florida's largest container port. The World Health Organization declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic on March 11. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Shipping containers are seen at JAXPORT on March 27, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. JAXPORT is Florida’s largest container port. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

“And I think companies are noticing. They’re noticing that Florida could be the solution for some  of these logistical problems,” he continued, noting that a European container shipping company recently announced it would reroute vessel service to JAXPORT, bringing estimated additional 1,000 containers to Jacksonville per week. This is significant, he said, as it has been “many years” since a European company came though Jacksonville.

Port Everglades has also accommodated ships without backups, he noted, emphasizing that Florida seaports are used to working across the clock.

“We think this is a great solution given our capacity for some of the problems you’re seeing in other parts of the country,” he said, reiterating that “Florida’s here.”

“We want to make sure that Americans get the goods they need, particularly as we approach the Christmas season,” he continued:

Hopefully what we’re doing here, more and more folks coming to our Florida ports, that will help solve some of the problems we’re seeing. I’m proud of what we’ve been able to do, and I’m really proud of these seaports that we have in the state of Florida. [It] really is some of the crown jewels that we have in our state and we want to make sure that we are helping to address, because these — when you start talking about supply chain, inflation, that’s not something that’s just going to affect a small segment. I mean, that hits very wide, hits very hard.

“Florida’s here. We got capacity, and we’ve also got incentive packages to make it worth your while to be able to bring your business to our ports,” he added before introducing JAXPORT CEO Eric Green, who announced that the port just completed a “historic year,” moving over 1.4 million containers over the past year — a new port record.

“And we’re not slowing down. Not even close. As Florida’s largest container port, we want the industry to know that Florida ports like JAXPORT are a solution to the nation’s port congestion problem,” he said, echoing the governor.

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