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For the second installment of the 2016 Florida Logistics Report, we’ll look at an overview of our state’s logistics, as well as some key demographic information.
Florida plays an important part in the worldwide trade network. It is at the crossroads of growing north-south and east-west trade lanes, with access to more than 1.0 billion consumers in the western hemisphere by 2030.
Currently the 3rd most populous and the 8th most densely populated state, it was also a leading job generator over the past five years.
At 1,350 miles, Florida has the longest contiguous coastline in the United States. Billions were invested to create a world class infrastructure and logistics operation that can efficiently deliver goods and provide the state with unparalleled opportunity to be a world class trade hub for the next century.
Florida is unique in being a bridge between the old and new worlds; established and emerging markets. It has been able to adapt to variations in trade growth and shifts in geography of world production and consumption. Florida is a leading global conduit for trade. In 2015, goods worth more than $160 billion flowed through the state’s logistics network.
Florida’s 15 seaports are of great importance to local economies and the state overall. Almost 60% of total trade in the state flows through the ports, ranking Florida 6th nationally for trade exports and 10th for imports. Seaports in Florida receive or send goods to more than 200 countries globally with foreign trade accounting for 93.3% of all trade through the seaports.
Florida is the largest exporter by air in the U.S. Air freight captures a significant portion of high-value goods, but less than 1% of overall volume. The volume of these higher value, more fragile, or time-sensitive commodities, such as mail and sophisticated manufactured items, depend in large part on the local market activities and economic conditions.
Trucking is the dominant way goods move in Florida, accounting for nearly three-quarters of the volume of goods moved. The state’s major interstates, including I-4, I-10, I-75 and I-95, continue to undergo significant upgrades and expansions along their routes. As cities grew and undeveloped areas opened up, secondary arterials were built to expand the road network. These tie into the regional transportation network that allow goods to reach the larger consumer population in the Southeast.
Since 2000, the population in Florida has grown by over 1.0 million. Job growth has been the underlying factor in why people come to the state. In addition, retirees migrate to Florida for the lower cost of living and year round amenities. Another key component of increased population has been immigration, particularly from Puerto Rico and South America. As economic turmoil spread to different countries in the region, many sought economic opportunities in the closest U.S. market that has significant ties to their home countries.
Employment in trade, logistics and warehousing totaled 1.7 million. This represents 20.8% of all jobs in Florida, down from 21.7% in 2000 but up from 20.6% in 2010. The trade and logistics cluster’s share of total jobs has increased over the past several years as compared to the national average, suggesting the industry has become more of an exporter of goods to other markets. Each job in Florida’s trade and logistics cluster supports about two other jobs in the state’s economy. Trade and logistics flows also help create a favorable environment for other industries which rely on freight as input to their products and services.
Chris Owen is the Florida Research Manager and is responsible for research operations in the State of Florida.