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June 11 2018

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Page 48 of 71

June 11 2018 | The Journal of Commerce 49 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION OF THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE FLORIDA TRADE By Helen Atkinson Infrastructure to Match Opportunity IT'S AN EXCITING time to be in the trade and logistics business in Florida. The state is now the nation's third most populous, and is billing itself as an economic "superstate," not least because of its more than 20 million residents and 100-million-plus annual visitors that form an attractive local consumer market. With an estimated GDP of $839 billion, if Florida were a nation state it would be bigger than The Netherlands or Saudi Arabia. One way of looking at what's going on in Florida is that the infrastructure is catching up with the opportunities. Considering you are rarely more than a few hours away from a port of one kind or another, it makes sense that goods incoming for local consumption, or exported for other markets, should travel through a Florida port before or after a short road or rail trip. And yet, in the past, much of the Florida market has been served with cargo that originates in ports further North or West. That's set to change. A major shift is in Florida's fundamental global positioning. Man's persistent mission to alter nature to his convenience has brought huge boons to Florida's ports. The expansion of the Panama Canal in 2016, making room

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