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Business Florida 2019 - The Regions

Worldly Wise

| 10/24/2018



Southeast stands out among Florida’s regions for many reasons: largest population, largest labor pool, longest ocean coastline, most seaports, closest to Latin America, home to three national parks and the world’s busiest cruise port. And with so many business advantages — including ready proximity to global markets, a multicultural and multilingual workforce, superior educational institutions and an exceptional quality of life — the challenge for companies considering relocation to one of these seven counties is less about finding the right site than it is about choosing just one.

With five deepwater ports, four international airports and a multimodal network of rail and roads connecting them all, the Southeast region can rightly be called Florida’s gateway to the world. It’s no wonder that companies bearing familiar names and in need of seamless logistics are drawn to Florida’s Southeast: Online pet retailer Chewy.com is headquartered in Dania Beach and has recently opened a 100,000-sq.-ft. customer service center in Hollywood; online home goods retailer Wayfair opened a 47,320-sq.-ft. distribution center earlier this year in Pompano Beach; and an 855,000-sq.-ft. Amazon fulfillment center is expected to open in Opa-Locka before the end of 2018.

International trade is one of this region’s primary industry sectors and, not surprisingly, the Miami metro — which spans Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties — plays a pivotal role. A new research brief from FIU + CCG | Miami Urban Future Initiatives ranks Miami first — ahead of Los Angeles and New York — among large U.S. metros according to the amount of merchandise goods, commodities and cargo that it transports internationally (1.5 million tons in 2016). Additionally, at $33.3 billion in 2015, Miami is No. 7 — ahead of Dallas, New Orleans and San Francisco — among large U.S. metros for its exports (goods and services that are produced locally and sold internationally).

PortMiami is the closest U.S. East Coast deepwater container port to the Panama Canal. In 2017, the port moved 1.02 million TEUs of containerized cargo and 9.2 million tons overall. During the same period, PortMiami reaffirmed its position as the world’s busiest cruise port, welcoming a record-breaking 5.3 million cruise passengers and signing its third agreement with a major cruise line in recent years to build a new terminal. Royal Caribbean’s Terminal A is scheduled for completion in October 2018, with Norwegian’s Terminal B to follow in fall 2019. Completion of a third terminal is anticipated by fall 2022.

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