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A day at PortMiami, Sept. 26, 2021 A day at PortMiami, Sept. 26, 2021

A day at PortMiami, Sept. 26, 2021

Gabrielle Settles
By Gabrielle Settles November 5, 2021

No evidence that video of a ship shows rerouted cargo arriving in Florida

If Your Time is short

  • Social media users claim that a video of a cargo ship entering the port of Miami came from California. There’s no evidence of the ship’s origins or that it was rerouted.

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis has invited backed-up cargo ships to come to Fla., but there’s no recent data showing that it’s happened yet.

An Instagram post shared that thanks to "DeSantis Clause," or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Christmas is saved. 

The Oct. 27 Instagram post shared a video taken from a flying helicopter, overlooking a cargo ship while it enters PortMiami in Florida. "Your packages were rerouted and have arrived in the port of Miami," reads text on the video.

The caption adds, "Not all, but some of the backed up cargo ships have been rerouted to Florida, the state that actually gets it done."

The original video was posted on TikTok on Oct. 27 by South Beach Helicopters, a helicopter tour company in Miami. Their post doesn’t mention where the vessel came from, and the name of the ship isn’t shown. There’s no mention of DeSantis or backed-up ports in the original TikTok video. 

But comments on this post, as well as another Instagram post that shared the video, claim that it came from California, where cargo ships have been backed up for weeks. Other ports across the country have experienced the same problem, including in Savannah, Ga.

We can’t confirm whether the ship came from California; nothing in the original video suggests that it did. 

Marine Traffic spokesperson Gergios Hatzimanolis said according to their data, it doesn’t appear that any cargo ships have been diverted from L.A. to Miami within the last 15 days. 

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PolitiFact reached out to Port Miami to get clarification regarding the claim, but did not get a response. 

We’ve explained the backlog in previous fact checks: it’s due to a cascade of issues including a spike in consumer demand for the holidays, shortages of workers unable to unload the larger ships, and COVID-19 outbreaks.

It’s true that DeSantis has invited backed-up cargo ships to reroute to ports in Florida. But people who used the video as proof of this may have jumped the gun — ship experts say there’s not enough data, and it’s too soon to tell whether the backlogged ships have pulled anchor and come to the Sunshine State.

DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw told PolitiFact that Florida ports are offering incentives to shipping companies to bring their business to them. 

Edie Ousley, spokesperson for the Florida Ports Council, said that the state has partnered with shipping companies that want to avoid the congested ports altogether. Hapag-Lloyd in the United Kingdom has temporarily rerouted their vessels to come to JAXPORT.

Our ruling

An Instagram post re-shared a video showing a cargo vessel entering PortMiami, claiming that backed-up cargo ships had been rerouted to Florida. The original video, posted to TikTok, doesn’t say where the cargo ship came from or its name. 

Marine Traffic’s data doesn’t show that any backlogged ship diverted to Florida within the last 15 days. At least one shipping company has partnered with a port in Jacksonville, Fla., to avoid the west coast altogether. But that doesn’t mean that ships that were already en route to backed up ports have changed their course.

Unless more evidence about the ship in the video appears, we see no evidence that shows the ship rerouted from California to Florida. We rate this claim Mostly False.

Our Sources

Instagram post, Oct. 27, 2021

TikTok post, Oct. 27, 2021

Instagram post, Oct. 27, 2021

Business Insider, The containers on more than 70 ships anchored off Los Angeles would stretch from Southern California to Chicago if laid end to end, an analysis has found, No. 2, 2021

11 Alive, Supply chain issues create Port of Savannah backlog, Oct. 21, 2021

PolitiFact, Supply-chain backlog at US ports not due to a Trump executive order on China, Oct. 25, 2021

Hernando Sun, Florida poised to ease cargo port traffic jam, DeSantis says, Oct. 25, 2021

Interview with Georgios Hatzimanolis, Nov. 4, 2021

Phone interview with Edie Ousely spokesperson for Florida Ports Council, Nov. 4, 2021

JAXPORT Press Release, Hapag-Lloyd reroutes European container service to JAXPORT, Oct. 13, 2021

Phone interview with Ellen Kennedy, spokesperson for Port Everglades, Nov. 4, 2021

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More by Gabrielle Settles

No evidence that video of a ship shows rerouted cargo arriving in Florida

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