Florida’s ports are booming after DeSantis offers alternative to Biden’s failure to solve West Coast ports backlogs and bottlenecks

One of the first major crises of President Joe Biden’s administration was supply chain bottlenecks and backlogged seaports, particularly on the West Coast, and neither Biden nor Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg was able to do much of anything to actually address and solve those issues.

That failure by the Biden administration has, ironically enough, played right into the hands of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and his efforts to bolster and further open Florida’s ports to help ease the supply chain problems, the Tampa Free Press reported.

Indeed, a recent report indicated that Florida’s ports have enjoyed substantial growth in international shipping, to say nothing of the re-emergent cruise industry following the pandemic-related shutdowns, that have contributed to the Sunshine State’s current economic boom.

DeSantis stepped up where Biden failed

It was in October 2021 that President Biden and Sec. Buttigieg began to belatedly address the post-pandemic supply chain bottlenecks and massive backlogs at West Coast ports that led to shortages of goods on retail shelves and helped contribute to inflationary pricing.

However, as Biden and Buttigieg fumbled their response to that serious issue, Gov. DeSantis stepped up to declare for the world to hear that Florida’s 15 ports were not backlogged and were very much open for business to all who would come, and even offered various incentives to encourage corporations to alter their distribution networks to be based out of Florida instead of California.

In a statement issued at that time, DeSantis said, “As the rest of the nation faces rampant inflation and businesses stare down unprecedented supply chain problems, our message is this: Florida is here, we have capacity, we have incentive packages to help businesses who want to move here and we are going to make sure Americans get their Christmas Gifts this season.”

Positive growth and future outlook for Florida’s ports

Fast-forward to the current day and a report released this week from the Florida Ports Council that highlighted how the state’s ports “have well-positioned Florida to answer supply chain demands, and take advantage of a realignment in global trade routes,” even as West Coast ports continue to struggle with backlogs and now face additional issues related to union labor contract negotiations and threatened lockouts, slowdowns, and strikes.

Michael Rubin, the program administrator of the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development Council, said, “Florida’s seaports are flexing their muscles, and seizing the opportunity to become a global hub by capturing an even larger share of international trade and related commercial activities.”

The report itself documented the alteration of some global shipping lanes and the emergence of new direct routes from Asia to Florida as well as the growth and return on investment witnessed in all of the state’s 15 major ports.

It further revealed an incredibly positive outlook for the future in both the short and long-term that stands in stark contrast to the still problematic West Coast ports, particularly in California.

DeSantis celebrates another win

“Florida’s continued investment in our seaports have made it a destination for companies from around the world frustrated with the logjams at Pacific coast ports,” Gov. DeSantis said in a statement with regard to the ports report. “We will continue to make the investments necessary to bolster our supply chain and improve our infrastructure to bring more business to Florida’s seaports.”

This is nothing less than another big win for Florida and DeSantis, and it is all thanks to the botched response of Biden’s administration to last year’s backlogs and bottleneck problems.

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