The Impressively Wide Beam of the Marine Industry

Though we’ve marked one year here in South Florida, the size and growth of the local marine business never ceases to amaze us. We regularly meet people from every corner of the industry everywhere we go – the office, grocery store, restaurants, or events through the Marine Industry Associate of South Florida (MIASF). It’s fascinating learning about each component that works to make our industry so broad and powerful.


The marine industry first brings to mind the “direct sector”, or the business that’s taking place on the water, such as: 

  • Recreational

  • Private yachts

  • Fishing (both commercial and recreational)

  • Tugs, tankers, cargo, containers, and bulk carriers 

  • Passenger ships (cruise ships and ferries)

  • Scientific/research vessels

  • Sailing

  • Military/USCG

  • Water sports


These areas are then served by the secondary business sector, which is where the industry really starts to expand: 

  • Marinas and shipyards

  • Parts, services, repairs

  • Insurance

  • Brokerage

  • Training 

  • The trickle-down stimulation of local economies – hotels, restaurants, airports, and other retail.

And these are not exhaustive lists! 

MIASF estimates the marine industry provides Southeast Florida with 110,000 middle class jobs in Broward County and 136,000 regionally. The 5-day Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show alone boasts a statewide economic benefit of $857 million. While the maritime industry spans the globe, Florida is a great example of the impact it has due to the variety and volume of businesses operating in such a compact area. One thing is for certain – the industry will only continue to evolve and expand.

If you’re an owner or employee of a marine-related business, let us know below! We always love to hear the stories of the people and companies that make up our exciting industry.