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May 26, 2018

Sector Portrait: Trade

International Trade is a Bright Spot for Florida

Trends and challenges at Florida's airports, seaports, and free trade zones.

> Challenge: Competition

It's a conundrum that leaves state trade officials shaking their heads — despite the success and capacity of Florida's ports, many Florida businesses continue to use out-of-state ports such as those in Savannah, Ga., Charleston, S.C., and Norfolk, Va., to ship and receive goods.

Phil Allen
"There are significant opportunities that are bypassing Florida today."
— Phil Allen, Port Everglades director/chairman of the Florida Ports Council

Meanwhile, imports from Latin America that could come into Florida and then make their way to the rest of the U.S. are coming into Houston and L.A. According to a report by the Florida Chamber Foundation, Florida seaports in 2009 handled only 55% of the waterborne cargo imports that were used in this state and 75% of the exports produced here. Panama's Colon Free Zone grabs some transshipment business that Florida could handle, and at least one port in the Bahamas can already handle the post-Panamax container ships for which Florida ports are too shallow.


Three Florida ports are among the top 15 exporting ports in the U.S.:

No. 11
Port Everglades ($11.1 billion in exports in 2010)

No. 13
Port of Miami ($10.3 billion in exports)

No. 15
Jaxport ($9.2 billion in exports)

Source: Port Everglades

Trade Math, 2010

Florida-origin exports: $55.2 billion, a record (up 17.8% from 2009)

+ Other exports: $17.8 billion

+ Imports: $53.2 billion (up 23%)

= Total trade: $126.2 billion (up 23%)

Source: Enterprise Florida

Florida Free Trade Zones
Name Federal Zone #
Brevard County/Port Canaveral 136
Fort Lauderdale 241
Fort Myers 213
Homestead 166
Jacksonville 64
Manatee County 169
Miami 32
Orlando 42
Pinellas County 193
Port Everglades/Broward County 25
Port of Palm Beach 135
Port of Pensacola 249
Port Panama City 65
Sebring 215
Seminole County 250
St. Lucie County 218
Tampa 79
Volusia/Flagler County 198
Listed alphabetically. This list may not be reproduced in any format without written permission from the publisher.

Florida's Free Trade Zones - 2011
Purchase this expanded list of Florida's Foreign Trade Zones published in the August 2011 issue of Florida Trend. Available in Excel only ($7.50).
Click to preview the fields included in Excel download.

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