US Port Funding Gap to Impact Competitiveness?
Rick Scott, Governor for Florida recently participated in a Milken Institute Global Conference panel, in which he discussed the critical issues facing US states, including the lack of funding available to ports, according to Floridapolitics.com.
Out of a total of US$10.8 billion in the current state budget, $200 million has been made available to fund port developments which could be vital for Florida with the Panama Canal Expansion offering carriers new options.
Mr Scott said: “The federal government is not putting money into ports, so we are funding their portion.”
PTI previously reported that Rick Scott was praised by the Florida Ports Council after signing a bill which aims to increase funding from $15 million to $25 million for the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development program (FSTED).
The Panama Canal Expansion is due to be inaugurated on June 26, 2016 and could potentially reconfigure the US logistics sector.
US West Coast ports have, on the whole, seen a spike in the number of containers handled over the past year, with Long Beach recently seeing its eighth consecutive month of volume increases.
With these milestones comes an inherent pressure on many US ports along the East Coast to become more competitive, which could mean even more funding needs to be allocated for infrastructural developments.
Another fillip for Florida and US East Coast ports is the thawing relations between the US and Cuba. After sanctions are completely lifted on the island there has been talk of it becoming a major new transhipment hub.