Governor Rick Scott, known as ‘the jobs’ governor, spent today working at Seaboard Marine’s Port of Miami terminal.
A strong supporter of seaports and international trade, Scott recently began a program, similar to a tradition started by former Governor Bob Graham, where he works at businesses throughout the state that employ ordinary working Floridians. Three months ago, Scott kicked off the his monthly “work day” campaign by working at a Tampa donut shop, similar to the donut shop he started and his mom operated many years ago in Kansas City. The “work day” initiative is part of Scott’s efforts to bring more jobs to Florida by understanding issues facing companies and their employees.
Arriving at 7:00a.m., Scott was welcomed by Bruce Brecheisen, Executive Vice President, and provided a safety briefing, by Omar Contreras, Safety and Hazardous Materials Manager. Scott was advised that it was a busy day with five Seaboard Marine vessels berthed along the Seaboard docks and that he would be performing three different job functions during the day at the 85-acre Seaboard Marine facility. Within twenty minutes of arrival, Scott was already inspecting cargo, principally rolling stock and heavy equipment, that had been positioned near the dock for loading later that day. Under the supervision of Terminal Manager Albert Smalls, Jr., Governor Scott reviewed vessel loading reports to ensure that this exported cargo was properly staged and segregated.
“I was a bit nervous because I thought it would be uncomfortable telling him what do to, particularly with so many media folks nearby,” Smalls said. “But I quickly became relaxed because he’s a down to earth person, a great listener, and he did a fine job of checking the Panamanian-bound units before we loaded them on the M/V Seaboard Costa Rica.”
After completing his first assignment, Scott moved to an area where import containers had just been unloaded from a nearby vessel. Working with Seaboard supervisor Martin Martin, Scott reviewed discharge lists and confirmed that seal and container numbers matched. After verifying proper matching, Scott inspected the containers for damages. Once confirmed that all containers were not damaged and they had been cleared by U.S. Customs, Scott used his recently issued Seaboard Marine radio to advise fellow employees that operate toploaders to move these containers to an area within the terminal so that could be quickly placed on chassis for prompt delivery to the awaiting consignee.
Martin noted, “Governor Scott quickly learned the position. He was easy to talk to and was surprised at how quickly containers are discharged from a vessel and then delivered to a customer. I explained how fast cargo turn-around is a critical part of our customer service.”
Scott’s final job duty was to help receive heavy equipment, mostly road-building and construction pieces such as bulldozers and front-end loaders. Seaboard Marine is well known for its expertise in handling such exported project cargo. Assisted by Seaboard’s Mauricio Gamboa, Scott greeted numerous truckers making deliveries and began to measure and record the conditions and measurements of the cargo, matching such information to the customer’s letter of intent. Scott and Gamboa then prepared dock receipts for each incoming piece of equipment and placed them on the cargo to provide a quick ability to identify the dock receipt number, port of destination, and other information.
Gamboa said, “The Governor asked a number of important questions and was very impressed with the high volume of exports that we handle at Seaboard Marine. In turn, I was impressed that he was very sincere and genuine.”
Before departing at 1:00p.m., Scott had a casual lunch with eight Seaboard Marine employees. Sitting at a circular table, each discussed a variety of topics including their families and struggles that everyday Floridians face such as the cost of insurance and underperforming schools.
Brecheisen added, “It was an incredible honor to have Gov. Scott spend so much time at the Seaboard Marine terminal. With more than 400,000 TEUs passing through our Port of Miami terminal in the last 12 months, we proudly enjoyed sharing our growing operation with him. The Governor not only has a great appreciation of the positive economic impact of trade, he was an excellent employee. As he continues his ‘Let’s Get to Work’ campaign in the coming months, we would love to have him work again at our facility.”