A Global Shipping Firm Is Moving Operations to Florida From California To Avoid Congestion at West Coast Ports

Toby Hazlewood

Governor DeSantis announces a win for Florida

A global shipping giant - Sea Lead Shipping Pte Ltd - announced on March 5 that it will relocate some of its key shipping operations from California's ports on the West Coast, to Jacksonville in Florida.

Governor Ron DeSantis confirmed the announcement at a press conference at JAXPORT.

Sea Lead Shipping are based out of Singapore, and the company appears to have become frustrated by the ongoing congestion in California. The global supply chain has become an ongoing feature of life in the USA and is made worse by the backlog of large container ships held up offshore of California ports, waiting for capacity so they can dock and unload.

At one stage, 70 cargo ships were waiting offshore to unload their cargo for distribution across the country:

Connecting Florida to Asia

Commenting on the move, Gov. DeSantis referenced the ongoing delays at the Port of Long Beach, before emphasizing the benefits that this will bring to Florida, stating that for Sea Lead Shipping this is:

"the first U.S. East Coast container service for the company and JAXPORT will serve as the last port of call on Sea-Lead's Asia East Coast rotation, connecting Jacksonville to 4 locations in Asia."

The first shipment will depart Nansha, China on March 7 and dock in Jacksonville in May.

The relocation of some operations represents a significant win for Florida, and follows on from offers made by Governor DeSantis in late 2021, when he positioned the state as being "open for business" and "ready to help America's supply chain backlog".

Florida has 15 ports, 8 of which can handle containers and 5 of these can handle the size of vessels that have found themselves anchored off California, waiting for the chance to unload.

The relocation is good news since it will bring valuable revenue and create jobs in the state.

The first of many moving to Florida?

This could well be the first of many businesses that sees Florida as an alternative hub for business operations in the U.S. and it's not just shipping firms that could benefit.

Late in 2021, the governor and Florida's Chief Financial Officer each held phone calsl with the CEO of In-N-Out Burger of California, hoping to lure the burger chain to move its headquarters to Florida and open outlets in the state. The offer had been extended in the wake of multiple In-N-Out restaurants being forced to shut down for not abiding by the state's COVID vaccine checking policy.

The reasons why businesses may relocate will vary from one industry to another, but it's clear that Florida has a lot to offer businesses.

How does the local economy seem to you in Florida right now? Do you believe that companies relocating operations to the state will be a good thing, or do you have reservations? Let me know in the comments section below.

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