Florida ports’ total economic impact value for cargo activities rose 26 percent from $66 billion in 2008 to $90 billion in 2012, according to the Florida Ports Council’s 2013-2017 Five-Year Florida Seaport Mission Plan.
The report also showed that the ports now account for 13 percent of the state’s gross domestic product, up 9 percent from 2008.
Florida ports moved more than 100 million tons of cargo and 3 million 20-foot-equivalent units in 2012. The state’s waterborne international trade value was up from $82.7 billion in 2011 to $85.6 billion in 2012, increasing $2.9 billion.
“In the last three years, taxpayers have invested $425 million in our ports to take advantage of the benefits of trade with Central and South America, and to prepare our state for the expansion of the Panama Canal,” said Florida Gov. Rick Scott, in a written statement.
“The story revealed in these numbers is that Florida seaports are continuing their role as critical economic engines for their communities and for the state,” added Doug Wheeler, president and CEO of the Florida Ports Council.