Business Florida 2021 - The Regions
Broward • Indian River • Martin • Miami-Dade • Monroe • Palm Beach • St. Lucie
Florida’s Southeast is an exceptional region 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. Add to that its ready proximity to global markets, a multicultural and multilingual workforce, outstanding educational institutions, an incomparable quality of life … and the challenge for companies looking to relocate here becomes less about finding a right site and more about choosing just one.
Logistics, Transportation and Trade
With five deep-water ports, four international airports and a multimodal network of rail and roads connecting them all, it should come as no surprise to learn that companies in need of seamless logistics have clustered in Florida’s Southeast. Among key players in this industry sector are: Chewy, with a Florida headquarters in Dania Beach and a 100,000-sq.-ft. customer service center in Hollywood; online home goods retailer Wayfair with a 47,320-sq.-ft. distribution center in Pompano Beach; and Amazon, which, over the last 18 months, has opened two fulfillment centers in Southeast Florida — an 855,000-sq.-ft. facility in Opa-Locka and a 60,000-sq.-ft. facility in Fort Pierce — and is making plans for more. Two Amazon warehouses boasting a million square feet each are slated for Palm Beach County and south Miami-Dade near Homestead. And also under consideration is a “last-mile” delivery station in Pompano Beach to provide speedier transmission of packages from warehouse to consumer.
Also providing logistical support in this region is Shipmonk, which gears its fulfillment services toward small and medium-sized e-commerce companies that sell on multiple sites. Opened in 2014 at Florida Atlantic University’s Tech Runway incubator with just 3,000 square feet of space, Shipmonk has prospered to the point of outgrowing four Broward County-based office sites in four years, while also adding offices in California and the Czech Republic. In early 2019, Shipmonk moved its operations — for the fourth time in four years — into a 220,000-sq.-ft. facility in Pompano Beach and opened an office in Pennsylvania.
PortMiami, the closest U.S. East Coast deep-water container port to the Panama Canal, moved 1.121 million TEUs of containerized cargo in FY2019, breaking its previous cargo record of 1.084 million TEUs set in 2018. During the same period, PortMiami once again retained its position as the world’s busiest cruise port, welcoming a record-breaking 6.8 million cruise passengers. And for the second year in a row, PortMiami set a single-day cruise record with 55,819 passengers on December 9, 2019. That still wasn’t enough to top Port Everglades, however, which eight days earlier had logged 55,964 cruise passengers, topping its own previous record of 55,885 set on March 13, 2016. In November 2019, Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas, which can carry up to 6,680 guests, began sailing from PortMiami.
In Fort Lauderdale, Port Everglades maintained its status as Florida’s No. 1 container port, exceeding 1 million TEUs for the sixth consecutive year in 2019 with a total of 1.053 million TEUs. Meanwhile, at the world’s fourth busiest cruise port and home to 10 cruise lines, business increased by 2.6% in 2019 for a total of 3.9 million passengers. Among new ships welcomed to Port Everglades in 2019 were Celebrity Cruises’ first new ship class in a decade, Celebrity Edge, Holland America’s newest Pinnacle-class ship, the 2,650-passenger Nieuw Statendam, and Princess Cruises’ Sky Princess, equipped with wearable technology allowing guests to personalize their shipboard experience.