The Florida Chamber Foundation just released its highly anticipated Florida Trade and Logistics Study 2.0, identifying a potential of 150,000 new trade and logistics jobs over the next five years. The study, commissioned by the Florida Chamber Foundation and presented by Bank of America and the Florida Department of Transportation, builds on Florida’s once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the state’s economy to become a global hub for trade, logistics and export-oriented manufacturing activities.
“The Florida Chamber Foundation’s study provides a roadmap for tremendous private-sector job growth and positive economic activity,” said Tony Carvajal, executive vice president, Florida Chamber of Commerce
The study restates the previously identified need for an air cargo airport as follows: “Create a Strategic Airport Investment Initiative, modeled after the seaport initiative, through which FDOT could provide funding for airport projects that accomplish statewide goals. A key priority should be to expand international passenger and cargo service at other airports in the state.”
The study explains that multiple plans and proposals have emerged to develop distribution and manufacturing facilities in inland Florida, with many clustering around a corridor roughly formed by US. 27 from Miami to Central Florida, and then I-75 to the Georgia state line.
This corridor over time could connect to inland airports with available land for growth, which includes the Sebring Regional Airport.
The tributaries that feed this corridor connect to all parts of the Florida peninsula including the seaports, airports, and freight hubs in Southeast Florida, Southwest Florida, Tampa Bay, Central Florida, and Northeast Florida. Regional and local partners would be wise to explore the benefits of developing a major north-south logistics and manufacturing corridor in this general area through proactive transportation investments, targeted site development, compatible land use strategies, and focused economic development programs.
“By 2030 global air passenger traffic could double, global air cargo tonnage could triple, and global marine container volumes could triple.”
“Global air cargo is expected to double over the next 20 years with the fastest growth in emerging markets such as Latin America and Africa.”
Sebring Regional Airport continues to be proactive in their search for transportation partners and economic development programs for Highlands County.