November 13, 2019

Right Connections

| 10/16/2019

Florida’s infrastructure is ranked No. 1 in the U.S. by USA Today, and with good reason. Not only is this peninsula the closest American land mass to the Southern Hemisphere, it is home to both the nation’s third largest population and one of its most extensive multimodal transportation systems.

2 Commercially Licensed Spaceports

15 Deep-water Shipping Ports

20 Commercial Airports

130+ Public Use Airports

3,000 Miles of Rail Tracks

122,000+ Miles of Highway

Florida’s carefully integrated system of land, sea and air connections enables the ready flow of raw materials and finished products between manufacturers and end-users. Businesses seeking to boost their logistics and distribution capabilities will find in Florida the people and systems they need to prosper and grow.

The proof is in names you know: Amazon, Walmart, AutoZone, O’Reilly, Chewy.com, Wayfair, Cheney Brothers, Trader Joe’s. These and more have chosen to site distribution centers in Florida in recent years. Since 2014, Amazon alone has opened a dozen facilities across the state, including a 2.4-million-sq.-ft. warehouse in Orlando in the fall of 2018. Next up: a 300,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Daytona Beach.

The interconnected transportation systems serving these companies as well as potential new arrivals are also in growth mode. Seaports all across the state are expanding to meet the needs of ever bigger cargo ships and cruise liners, while airports add gates and lengthen runways to accommodate new carriers. In Orlando, work continues on “I-4 Ultimate,” a multibillion-dollar project to improve 21 miles of the highway that is the backbone of central Florida’s interstate transportation system. Another 40 miles of highway improvements — “I-4 Beyond the Ultimate” — are planned. The fast passenger Virgin Trains USA (formerly known as Brightline), which currently runs between Palm Beach and Miami, has begun construction on its Miami to Orlando leg, with a projected completion date of 2022.

Florida’s interconnectedness extends into cyberspace too. The Network Access Point in Miami serves as a major switching station for internet traffic coming into and out of Latin America, while other high-speed networks, such as Florida Lambda Rail and LA Grid, facilitate R&D efforts. In addition, Florida has some of the fastest and most widely available wireless networks.

 

Tags: Business Florida, Competitive Assets

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