Sea-Lead to Move Part of Their Operations from California to Florida
Sea Lead, a global shipping line headquartered in Singapore, will move part of their operations from California to Florida in order to bypass heavy congestion at the Port of Long Beach.
This will be the first U.S. East Coast container service for the company. The move will connect Jacksonville to 4 locations in Asia. JAXPORT will serve as the last port of call for Sea Lead’s container vessels arriving from Asia. Initially Sea Lead will off load 400 to 500 containers at JAXPORT's Blount Island Terminal every two weeks starting in May. That will bring in $400,000 in new revenue for the port.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made the announcement during a news conference in Jacksonville Friday morning. "We made a public effort to get companies to bring more cargo to Florida ports," said the Governor. “We have seen great results."
This past October, Governor DeSantis visited JAXPORT to invite companies who were experiencing supply chain disruptions at other ports to bring their business to Florida. Since then, several companies have contacted JAXPORT about shifting their business.
JAXPORT CEO Eric Green credited infrastructure upgrades for Sea Lead's decision. The dredging of a deeper channel has enabled the port to serve a wider variety of vessels. JAXPORT has same-day truck access to 98 million US consumers.
Florida’s seaports have experienced big jumps in cargo operations recently.
• Port Miami recorded its busiest cargo year in its history, up almost 18% over last year with most of the additional cargo attributed to imports coming from Asia which would normally go into California.
• Port Tampa container tonnage increased by 14% in the first quarter of 2022, with huge jumps in building material specifically. Steel is up 122% and lumber is up 160%.
• Port Everglades saw 11% growth year over year, and they are up more than 25% year to date.
• At Port Manatee, the first quarter of 2022 showed a 15% increase in short tons. Wood products which normally go into California have been coming to Port Manatee instead.
Since 2019, Florida has invested nearly $1 billion into its seaports to ensure that they have the capacity to serve as much cargo as possible.