Sector Portrait: Trade
International Trade is a Bright Spot for Florida
Trends and challenges at Florida's airports, seaports, and free trade zones.
Gov. Rick Scott in March directed the Department of Transportation to give the Port of Miami the $77 million it needs to dredge its harbor to 50 feet to accommodate post-Panamax ships. Legislation eliminates redundant state security requirements for port workers and mandates creation of a statewide transportation plan identifying road, port and rail needs.
A Bright Spot — With Challenges
The recession ended early for international trade, and the sector continues to perform well even as much of Florida's economy continues a slow slog out of the recession. In 2010, Florida-origin exports grew to an all-time high of $55.2 billion. Trade in goods and services plus direct foreign investment now accounts for 16% of Florida's economy and supports one in five jobs.
Foreign trade isn't just a sandbox for big firms. Florida's small and midsized businesses account for more than half of the export trade, finding markets for their products abroad even as the domestic economy lags.
For all the good news, the state will have to work hard to keep its edge. Following are snapshots of the major trends and challenges facing the international trade sector moving into the second half of 2011.
|Seaport||Cargo (tons, 2010)||Cruise Passengers (2010)|
|Port of Tampa||37,148,407
|Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale)
|Port Manatee (Palmetto)
|Port of Miami-Dade
|Port Canaveral (Cape Canaveral)
|Port of Palm Beach (Riviera Beach)
|Port Panama City
|Port of Fernandina
|Port of Fort Pierce
|Port of Pensacola
|Port of Key West
|Port St. Joe Marina (Port St. Joe)2
|Port of St. Petersburg3||0||0|
|Ranked by cargo tonnage. 1Estimate 2 Deals with wet-slip and dry-slip customers only. 3Deals with large private yachts and research vessels only. ©Copyright 2011 Trend Magazines Inc. This list may not be reproduced in any format without written permission from the publisher.|
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