Maritime Experts Available for Briefings on 2023 Hurricane Idalia Preparedness and Operations

As Hurricane Idalia approaches Florida, media outlets, lawmakers and policymakers are encouraged to contact the Florida Maritime Partnership with questions about the American maritime industry’s efforts to prepare for and respond to the storm.

The domestic maritime industry regularly operates along the Gulf Coast and into Florida, with at least 30 U.S.-flag tankers, 40 U.S.-flag ATB’s and hundreds of tank barges in the Florida/Gulf Coast trades. For decades, the American maritime industry has worked closely with local, state, and federal governments, shippers, suppliers, and emergency response teams so that reliable and consistent delivery of goods is achieved in times of need, and major domestic tanker and tank vessel operators are prepared to respond quickly to the needs of Floridians affected by the storm.

American maritime carriers with operations in areas affected by Hurricane Idalia are activating their hurricane plans and coordinating with the U.S. Coast Guard and federal, state, and local government officials.

  • Several operators have unloaded cargoes, including fuel, to Florida over the weekend and earlier this week in advance of the storm. Some vessels are following weather avoidance measures and waiting for passage of the storm. These vessels will be available to offload fuel and other cargoes after the storm passes and ports allow reentry.
  • While the ports are shut down, no vessels will be able to deliver cargoes.
  • Domestic maritime operators also report that vessels are delivering as scheduled to other ports in Florida that remain open.

In Florida, over 90% of Florida’s fuel arrives through four ports: Everglades, Canaveral, Jacksonville and Tampa. When a hurricane impacts the state, the domestic maritime industry works with partners at the state’s marine fuel terminals to ensure that shoreside facilities are at capacity before the storm. After the storm has passed, the industry stands ready to begin discharging additional fuel cargos as soon as ports and terminals reopen.

Download b-roll footage of domestic maritime vessels calling on Port Tampa Bay as it reopened following Hurricane Ian in 2022.

Media coverage of previous response efforts:

About the Florida Maritime Partnership

The Florida Maritime Partnership (FMP) represents the state’s vibrant domestic maritime industry. Our diverse membership includes vessel owners and operators, shipboard and shoreside workers, shipbuilders and repair yards, equipment manufacturers and vendors, dredging and marine construction contractors, numerous maritime associations, and national security organizations that all recognize a strong domestic maritime industry is critical for America’s economic, national, and homeland security, and is best supported by maintaining the Jones Act as the foundation of America’s domestic maritime policy.

Modeled after the American Maritime Partnership (AMP), FMP promotes America’s maritime policy that any vessel transporting goods or passengers between two points in the United States or engaging in certain activities in U.S. waters must be U.S. owned, U.S. built, and U.S. crewed.