April 23, 2018

A Florida TaxWatch Economic Report

Report shows Florida seaports' governance model on par with global leaders

How Florida's seaports compare to U.S. and international models

| 7/31/2014

Florida TaxWatch partnered with the Florida Ports Council to conduct a review of port governance structure to determine the shared characteristics of top-performing ports around the world.

While no single governance structure stood out during the review, a few key points were noted for seaport success. Several studies highlight the importance of local involvement, integration with the community and engagement with existing stakeholders. Also stressed is the importance of maintaining a stable business environment to reduce the impact of uncertainty on port users.

"Florida seaports are performing very well under a decentralized governance model, managing and meeting their local needs while implementing a state level strategy to holistically enhance Florida's economic climate," said Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, the independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research institute and government watchdog.

Florida ports work together as members of the Florida Ports Council and the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development Council to ensure that the state's ports are meeting infrastructure goals consistent with the Florida Transportation Plan.

"What this data shows is that Florida ports already share the characteristics that determine long-term success for ports around the world," said Doug Wheeler, president and CEO of the Florida Ports Council. "We are always looking for opportunities to improve and will continue to strive toward increases in efficiency and innovation."

The study examined other states with decentralized models of governance, which are the most widely used where logistics systems and geographical features are similar to Florida's. It revealed that local government port authorities are among the top performing ports in the nation, and have retained that status for more than 10 years. This analysis demonstrates that Florida ports are being governed in a manner consistent with successful ports around the world.

Read about Florida's Seaport Governance Model here.

Florida Tax Watch

Florida TaxWatch is a statewide, non-profit, non-partisan research institute that over its 34-year history has become widely recognized as the watchdog of citizens' hard-earned tax dollars.  Its mission is to provide the citizens of Florida and public officials with high quality, independent research and education on government revenues, expenditures, taxation, public policies and programs and to increase the productivity and accountability of Florida state and local government. Its support comes from homeowners and retirees, small and large businesses, philanthropic foundations, and professional associations. On the web at

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