TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiamio) – Florida’s seaports are booming, especially when it comes to taking Curise Chip passengers to paradise.
The Florida Ports Council released a five-year mission plan showing Florida continues to lead the nation in cruise operations while waterborne cargo, the true money-maker of port operations, increased 18.2 percent to $82.7 billion in 2011.
Florida’s ports moved 100 million tons and three million 20-foot equivalent containers of cargo last year.
The 15 seaports contributed to Florida’s record year for international trade — $149 billion.
Florida’s $6.3 billion annual cruise industry, led by Port Miami, Port Everglades and Port Canaveral handled 13.5 million passengers in 2011, accounting for 60 percent of all U.S. embarkations on just 3 ports.
Other Florida seaports are in Pensacola, Panama City, Port St. Joe, Fernandina Beach, Jacksonville, Citrus County, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Manatee County, Fort Pierce, Palm Beach County and Key West.