As global supply chains change, Florida can be the big winner. A brand-new research report indicates Florida has the available capacity to move more goods, make more goods, and multiply these impacts throughout the economy. Globally competitive trade, logistics, and manufacturing sectors will diversify Florida’s economy, bringing new jobs, income and investment into the state. Florida can propel its economy to one of the top 10 worldwide, and today, with the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida Trade & Logistics 2030 Study launch, Florida continues to move the needle toward its continued economic growth.
“Purposely expanding manufacturing, logistics, trade, and rural economic growth aligns with Governor DeSantis’ continued leadership in this space and will help grow Florida to the 10th largest global economy by 2030.” said Florida Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Mark Wilson. “We have a generational opportunity to get this right.”
Global supply chains and trade flows are transforming rapidly. The experiences of the past two years—from the global pandemic to extreme weather events to geopolitical instability in multiple locations—highlighted the vulnerabilities in the global supply chain and the importance of maintaining strong manufacturing and logistics sectors to support Florida consumers and businesses while driving economic growth.
“Many of Florida’s peer states are focusing on these opportunities, but the competition in these sectors increasingly is global,” said Florida Trade & Logistics 2030 Study Project Chair Doug Davidson, Market Executive with Bank of America.
Trade, logistics and manufacturing are essential elements of Florida’s economy and offer opportunities for every region of Florida, including rural and inland regions poised for economic revitalization. In 2020, they accounted for more than 1 million jobs statewide—the fourth highest total in the country. As Florida looks to 2030, the state has a wide array of opportunities to build on the strengths of these sectors and address the challenges they face. Florida Trade & Logistics 2030 presents a series of strategies and recommendations to position these sectors for success and to achieve the ambitious—but attainable—goal of making Florida a top 10 global economy. Some key strategies and recommendations include:
- Reaffirm the statewide priority for trade, logistics and manufacturing
- Establish a statewide, focused manufacturing initiative
- Close essential workforce gaps and strengthen the talent pipeline
- Continue to strengthen trade gateways and corridors
- Establish a comprehensive site development program with emphasis on rural areas
- Continue redesigning Florida’s economic development toolkit
- Strategically leverage rural economic development to double the percentage of GDP from rural Florida
“The trade and logistics industry is quickly evolving, and the strength and well-being of Florida’s manufacturing economy is inextricably connected to its success,” said FloridaMakes CEO Kevin Carr.
The Florida Chamber Foundation would like to thank its Florida Trade & Logistics 2030 Investor Task Force representing private and public sector organizations who guided the study, working with a larger stakeholder group comprising over 80 organizations.
Visit www.FLChamber.com/TL2030 to view the Florida Trade & Logistics 2030 Study.
What people are saying about Florida’s trade, logistics and manufacturing (alphabetical by company):
“Not enough attention is being paid to the manufacturing sector’s need for soft skills—business skills, project management, and leadership. A gap emerges between the manager and the front-line staff that can be filled with professional development skill set support.”– Henry Kelley, Director of Administration, Blue Wind Technologies
“This is a vital time to support Florida employers by helping people enter, remain, and advance in our workforce. Now more than ever, businesses are looking for solutions to find and train the talent they need, navigate evolving guidelines and overcome supply chain issues. Statewide collaboration will help communities recover from the economic impact of the pandemic and allow us to prepare for the future through the growth of Florida’s trade, logistics, and advanced manufacturing industry sectors.”—Michelle Dennard, President & Chief Executive Officer, CareerSource Florida
“Through our college partnerships, we are trying to communicate to the next generation the growing need for logistics jobs, such as warehouse automation and materials handling.”– Dale Yarhmatter, Vice President, Distribution Operations, Coca-Cola Florida
“Trade, logistics, and manufacturing are critically important targeted industry sectors for us in Florida. Investing in these sectors sends a beacon to the world that Florida is open and ready and able to accept your business.”—TJ Villamil, Senior Vice President, International Trade & Development, Enterprise Florida
“Each day, millions of Floridians rely on our state’s exceptional multimodal transportation system to safely move people and goods where they need to go. Through collaboration with our partners like the Florida Chamber Foundation and many others, Florida is setting a nationwide standard of support innovation, creating jobs, and driving our economy forward. As we look to the future, Florida will continue to support a resilient multimodal transportation system that serves our state for generations to come.”— Jared W. Perdue, P.E., Secretary, Florida Department of Transportation
“Ready sites elevate a community’s attractiveness by shortening the time it takes for a business to be up and running. Site readiness and a trained workforce combined will yield more qualified leads and create new jobs and capital.”– Beth Cicchetti, CEcD, Executive Director, Florida Economic Development Council
“Truck drivers can spend nearly an hour each day trying to find parking— wasting gas, creating congestion, and reducing the distance that drivers can deliver goods.”—Alix Miller, President and Chief Executive Officer, Florida Trucking Association
“Florida’s economy is well-known, but poorly understood. Only 20 percent of jobs in our region are in tourism and hospitality.”– Casey Barnes, Vice President, Business Development, Orlando Economic Partnership
“Florida is a very strong market for domestic southbound truck deliveries, but the majority of trucks head back empty. As a result, northbound rates are typically up to 50% less than southbound. We’re finding that this backhaul capacity creates a huge opportunity for us to extend our reach, serving customers throughout the Southeast and beyond.”—Wade Elliott, Vice President, Business Development, Port Tampa Bay
“With other states revamping their programs to support and attract capital investment and quality jobs, Florida must do the same. A comprehensive program of training, streamlined permitting, grants and incentives to support site and workforce readiness, and delivery of infrastructure will encourage trade and manufacturing companies to consider investing in Florida. It’s time we have a good offensive strategy for Florida to compete and win.”– Rosemary Fagler, Economic Development Manager, Weyerhaeuser
“If you build things together, you’ve anchored your supply chain.”–Alice Ancona, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, World Trade Center Miami