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Florida to shipping companies: Our ports are open

Panama City Port (Panama City Port Authority)
Panama City Port (Panama City Port Authority)(WJHG)
Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 11:13 AM CDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - You may have been surprised to see bare shelves and product shortages in supermarkets, retail stores and even restaurants in recent weeks.

The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a global supply chain problem. As of Sunday, an estimated 500,000 shipping containers were sitting on cargo ships off the Southern California coast. Ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, recently broke records for the number of cargo ships waiting to dock. Those ships are carrying a variety of products for the American market, everything from sneakers to toys, to toilet paper.

So, Florida is putting out the word to shipping companies that ports in the Sunshine State are open and ready for business.

“Florida is where your success comes in, and our seaports are the solution to ensure the cargo shipping logjam doesn’t become the Grinch that stole Christmas,” said Michael Rubin, President and CEO of the Florida Ports Council.

Florida leaders say California is no longer the most efficient way to move goods to the East Coast or even the Midwest. They say Florida is the answer.

“Why pay to moor off the coast of California, when Florida shipping lanes are open and serving as the gateway for getting goods to America’s market,” Rubin said in a press release.

Rubin says Florida has invested in infrastructure to increase port capacity. Earlier this year, Gov. Ron DeSantis directed $250 million of stimulus money to Florida’s 15 seaports to help offset pandemic impacts.

“Florida is open for business, and we are the solution to help resolve the global supply chain crisis,” Rubin added. “Instead of waiting off the coast of California, cargo vessels can offload and move their product to Florida and other discretionary markets in the same time it takes to find space in an increasingly congested California.”

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