AT JAXPORT Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Florida ports have the capacity and manpower to handle imports currently offshore on the West Coast and even eastern ports such as Savannah.
” We are here. We have the capacity, ”DeSantis said.
DeSantis has spent much of the past week bashing the President Joe biden, the said “Grinch who stole Christmas.“The governor has expressed concern about everything from the kids who don’t have toys this year to the need to relocated production of medical supplies from China, teasing an ongoing solution.
DeSantis joked that “last minute buyers” like him would be particularly affected if supply chain problems continued.
On Tuesday, the deployment ended with a sign proclaiming “Florida ports open.” And the location was no accident. Hapag-Lloyd added JAXPORT to its European loop this week. The city joins Charleston and Norfolk in the mix.
“We are facing major disruptions in the supply chain. You’ve seen the footage of all these ships, ”DeSantis said, describing“ empty shelves ”and“ increased costs, ”including the biggest year-over-year food price increase in 10 years.
“We in Florida have the ability to help alleviate these bottlenecks and improve these issues with the supply chain,” DeSantis said, noting that he had funded ports so that they could address these challenges. “It really is, I think, a model for the rest of the country.”
Ports, including JAXPORT, will offer incentives for companies to try them out as a workaround to “logistical problems,” DeSantis said.
Civic boosters have long sought to expand JAXPORT, noting that the proximity to rail access and two major highways was a unique added value. From Gov. Rick scott administration, the Saint John River was dredged at 47 feet in recent years, a project that should finally be completed next year.
This project was sold on increased traffic, especially super-containers of the kind that other ports could more easily handle than Jacksonville. JAXPORT is already Florida’s largest container port by volume and still has no container ships awaiting unloading.
Now, in a time of national crisis, the capacity at JAXPORT and elsewhere in the state can come in handy. For DeSantis, eternally opposing the president, the opportunity turned out to be irresistible.
“Florida is there. We have the capacity, ”the governor repeated.