Top 10 Reasons to do Business in Florida
From Florida, you can reach the world — and beyond. With its state-of-the-art
A multi-modal transportation infrastructure of highways, railways, seaports, airports and spaceports enables companies to gain quick access to markets and thereby reduce their bottom-line costs.
Roads: A 12,066-mile state highway system and nearly 110,000 miles of other public roads offer easy access to regional and national markets and ready links to airports and seaports. And the condition of Florida's roads is among the nation's best, according to a study released in May 2009 by the American Association of State Highways and Transportation. Florida tied for third — just behind Georgia and Nevada — for roads in good shape.
Rail: 2,796 miles of main route rail lines connect the state's railroads to major business centers and distribution nodes. The Florida rail transportation system comprises 15 line-haul railroad and terminal or switching companies, which includes two Class I Railroads, two regional railroads, 10 local railroads and one railroad specializing in switching and terminals. The proposed SunRail commuter train system will carry passengers through Volusia, Seminole, Orange and Osceola counties in Florida's East Central/Space Coast starting in 2012, and a high-speed rail line between Orlando and Tampa is planned to begin service in 2015.
Gov. Charlie Crist is among Florida leaders supporting the push for high-speed rail between Tampa and Orlando. [Photo: Getty Images]
Airports: Florida's 21 commercial airports offer non-stop scheduled service to more than 120 domestic and international destinations. In fact, Florida offers more direct flights to Latin American and Caribbean destinations than all other U.S. airports combined. With 33.9 million passengers in 2009, Miami International ranked as Florida's busiest airport and 12th busiest in the United States, closely followed by Orlando International in 13th place nationwide with 33.7 million passengers. Florida's commercial airports handle more than 9% of the nation's air cargo, representing an economic impact of $33.4 billion per year.
Seaports: Florida's 14 deepwater seaports support thousands of jobs and generate billions in economic impact. In 2008, Florida's seaports moved $82.5 billion worth of goods from countries throughout the world, employed more than 36,000 workers and accounted for 54% of all U.S. cruise embarkations. Every Florida business is within 90 miles of at least one Florida port, many of which feature roll on/off or gantry crane loading areas and dockside cold storage, plus dry dock, bulk liquid cargo and bulk dry cargo facilities. In anticipation of projected freight increases due to completion of the Panama Canal expansion project in 2014, many Florida ports are enlarging their container capacity, cranes and berths to accommodate post-Panamax ships.
Spaceports: Florida is home to two of only eight commercially licensed spaceports in the United States, including the site of the first U.S. commercial launch. Florida hosts commercial, civil and military space operations, with primary emphasis on payload processing, launch operations and spaceport range technologies.