YES, VIRGINIA, THERE IS A DESANTIS CLAUSE
Where some see a stocking full of coal, others see opportunity. Take Florida Governor Ron DeSantis—please! That might be the sentiments of officials at congested seaports outside of the Sunshine State. For instance, there are the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, where, at press time, Christmas presents remain stranded in around 100 vessels waiting for docks. While the intervention of President Joe Biden has led to plans for 24/7 loading and unloading of containers at impacted terminals in Southern California and elsewhere, challenges remained (again, at time of publication) to implement the strategy. Some have even suggested that open-all-day-and-night operations fail to address the real problems, like the lack of truck drivers and already packed-to-the-brim warehouses.
And so, against that chaotic backdrop, DeSantis announced on Oct. 19 that Florida seaports have open capacity, can meet holiday demand and—hey, all you shippers muttering “Bah humbug”—come on down.
“Year after year we continue to invest in our seaports, in infrastructure and in workforce education to make sure our supply chain is resilient,” said Da Gov, who was flanked by officials from Port Everglades, Port Tampa Bay, Port Panama City and host Port of Jacksonville (JAXPORT). “I’m especially proud of Florida’s seaports. They are crown jewels in our state.”
Yes, and those jewels have been shined with $1 billion in state investments since 2019, according to his office. Controversial because of his ties to former President Donald Trump and the supposed “steal,” DeSantis may have distanced himself even more from certain other attendees of U.S. governor conventions by suggesting shippers and out-of-state businesses should choose Florida.
“While other U.S. ports are just now announcing around-the-clock operations, in Florida many of our ports are used to serving Florida farmers, families and businesses with 24-hour operations,” he 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.”