Ron DeSantis says Florida ports could save Christmas, solve supply issues

DeSantis JAXPORT
'Florida's here. We've got capacity.'

At JAXPORT Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Florida ports have the capacity and the staffing to handle the imports currently offshore on the West Coast and even eastern ports such as Savannah.

“We are going to make sure Americans get their Christmas gifts this season,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis has spent much of the last week bashing President Joe Biden, the so-called “Grinch who stole Christmas.” The Governor expressed concerns about everything from kids not getting toys this year to the need to reshore production of medical supplies from China, teasing a fix in the works.

DeSantis joked that “last-minute shoppers” like him would be especially impacted if the supply chain woes continue.

On Tuesday, the rollout was complete with a sign proclaiming “Florida’s ports are open.” And the location was no accident. Hapag-Lloyd added JAXPORT to its European loop this week. The city joins Charleston, South Carolina, and Norfolk, Virginia, in the mix.

“We are facing major disruptions in the supply chain. You’ve seen the images of all these ships,” DeSantis said, describing “empty shelves” and “increased costs” including the highest year over year food price increase in 10 years.

“We in Florida have the ability to help alleviate these logjams and ameliorate these problems with the supply chain,” DeSantis said, noting that he has funded ports so they can handle these challenges. “It really is, I think, a model for the rest of the country.”

Ports including JAXPORT, as well as Port Everglades, Port Tampa Bay and Port Panama City have capacity. Some are going to offer incentives to businesses to try them out as a workaround to “logistical problems,” DeSantis said.

Civic boosters long sought to expand JAXPORT, noting that proximity to rail access and two major interstates was a unique value add. Starting during the Gov. Rick Scott administration, the St. Johns River has been dredged to 47 feet in recent years, a project finally slated to end next year.

That project was sold on increased traffic, specifically super-containers of the sort that other ports more easily could handle than Jacksonville. JAXPORT is already the largest container port by volume in Florida and still has no container vessels waiting for offload.

Now, in a moment of national crisis, capacity at JAXPORT and elsewhere in the state may come in handy. For DeSantis, eternally contrasting himself to the President, the opportunity proved to be irresistible.

“Florida’s here. We’ve got capacity,” the Governor repeated.

Those on hand extolled the Governor’s forward thinking move.

“The Governor has displayed tremendous leadership in continuing to recognize the value our seaports provide in meeting the mission of safely moving goods throughout the region,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin J. Thibault. “The partnership we have with our deepwater seaports uniquely positions Florida to be that much needed destination to get goods to market and overcome the delays seen at other locations.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


19 comments

  • Tom Palmer

    October 19, 2021 at 11:58 am

    If Florida ports offered the opportunity get goods to makret that the other ports do, the shippers would already be doing it. It’s not about port capacity. its about the intramodal capacity to move goods from the port once they'[re offloaded. Close, but no cigar, gov.

    • Joe

      October 19, 2021 at 1:03 pm

      You always find a way to make this seem bad. This is great leadership by Ron DeSantis. How can you be mad – for the first time on a long time a European-based container shipping company is rerouting to jaxport. Thatt will bring in 1,000 more containers a week!!

      • Tom Palmer

        October 19, 2021 at 3:02 pm

        just stating the fact that this issue is really complicated.

      • E Hamel

        October 20, 2021 at 2:55 pm

        DuhSantis is a BS artist. Pandering to trumps base, political ambitions. He has done nothing positive for Florida . He is up there in the polls alongside Abbott and De Wine as the worst in the nation,

    • Herbert W Schulz

      October 23, 2021 at 10:28 am

      Spoken like a true dumbocrat.
      Must make you feel good; try wanking with the other fist.

  • J Allen

    October 19, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    So what should be done to improve intramodal capacity?

    • Tom Palmer

      October 19, 2021 at 3:00 pm

      find more truck drivers

  • Amor-Khalila Amankwah

    October 19, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    The problem is our port waters may not be deep enough for the ships. Also, the time it takes for the ships to get here means added expense for the goods. Lastly, do we have enough truck drivers? There’s a national shortage. Its a great photo op for Desantis though.

  • martin

    October 20, 2021 at 2:52 am

    Gov. Ron has the intestinal fortitude to see the problem, and work on a solution. This is directly opposite the of the lack of solutions offered by Mr. Potato Head Biden, or his failure of a cabinet.

    Desantis defines affective leadership.

    • Tom

      October 20, 2021 at 9:26 am

      Yes martin.
      America’s Gov, Gov Kahones!
      Dem A Dolts are a joke!

  • ScienceBLVR

    October 20, 2021 at 7:10 am

    DeGrinch is at it again. Is there no bar so low, he won’t slither under it? Blaming supply issues on Biden, who has been in office less than a year, is not only disingenuous, but he KNOWS it’s not true. which makes him the worst kind of politician. One who lies but shows no shame when he is called out. If only Trump and his sycophant De Grinch had paid a little more heed and demonstrated leadership instead of downplaying the severity of the pandemic, the economy would be bouncing back much more quickly. This is not rocket science, folks. Vote this lowlife huckster out!

    • Tom

      October 20, 2021 at 9:24 am

      Go F your self, day dream dums science dis believer.

    • E Hamel

      October 20, 2021 at 2:57 pm

      That’s all they have, blame Biden who was left a mess . Biden is doing exactly what 81 million plus put him in office to do.

      • Tom

        October 20, 2021 at 3:55 pm

        Yes you are right you dumb fool.
        He’s Fng the the country!
        Come on man!
        He’s destroyed everything
        Are you serious?
        30 plus yr inflation highs
        Supply chain broken
        11.5 million jobs unfilled, 8 million unemployed.
        Southern border abandoned, 2 million illegals.
        Abandoned Americans in Afghanistan
        Biden abandons all and Dems are incompetent.
        Dem poll Quinnipiac today, says 37% Americans Approve. These people are a joke. He’s negative 13 in Florida.
        38 states negative.

        You are a fool, but thats a Dem A Dolt for u. LMAO

  • Tom

    October 20, 2021 at 9:22 am

    Wrong Palmer.
    Watch the video presser.

    DeSantis brilliant, whiz kid.
    Multiple spokespeople said very doable.
    German freighter already docked and off loading, rerouted from Georgia to Jaxport.
    Over 100 million consumers impacted from Florida ports throughout south & beyond.

    Once again America’s Gov offers real solutions.
    Work horse not a show horse. Dems state and nationally offer incompetence.

    Florida ports all United with infrastructure, inter modals, rail and trucking. Open 24/7 unlike Cali.

    Typical Dums, on all initiatives to down play DeSantis efforts. America’s Gov number 1.

    Quinnipiac poll today has Biden approval 37%, Dem leaning poll released this morning. Atrocious.

    LMAO, so much for the competence B S media/Dems conned America with.

  • Mrredneck

    October 20, 2021 at 10:48 am

    Typical liberals, blame a problem on somebody or something else, the problem in California is the restrictions the Governor dictator has imposed on the trucking companies (emissions-regulations) and the people (covid restrictions), all self imposed, Santis is a problem solver, any intra model problems would be solved by the greatness of the American people unde a great leader.

    • Mrredneck

      October 20, 2021 at 10:50 am

      Lets go Brandon

  • Dembasher

    October 20, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    And no union idiots to slow walk production or get their 10% off the top FIRST.

  • Dembasher

    October 20, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    They need to get all the freight bills and prioritize container off-loading. Important things first, 4 million iphone cases can go last.

Comments are closed.


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