U.S.: Port Manatee container volume sets annual record
During the 10-month period from Oct. 1, 2016, through July 31, 2017, the port saw moves of 32,907 twenty-foot-equivalent container units (TEUs) - a 47% year-on-year increase.
Port officials attribute the increase to the ongoing transition to containers from breakbulk shipping by Del Monte Fresh Produce for its imports of Central American pineapples and bananas, as well as World Direct Shipping’s weekly service that brings refrigerated produce from Mexico.
“We are excited to have already set a new container record for Port Manatee and are further encouraged that this favorable trend is anticipated to be sustained for a long time,” Port Manatee executive director Carlos Buqueras said.
He pointed out that the port had extended its agreements with both Del Monte and World Direct Shipping within the past year.
“The numbers support that Port Manatee is indeed the fastest-growing container port on Tampa Bay," he said.
Port Manatee’s overall tonnage, including bulk and general cargos in addition to containers, is also up substantially. Total throughout rose 17% year-on-year over the 10-month period to 6,428,146 metric tons (MT).
“The dynamic rise in Port Manatee’s cargo activity is striking in and of itself and is further impressive because it translates into growing numbers of family-wage jobs and other positive economic impacts for our community,” Manatee County Port Authority chairwoman Vanessa Baugh said.
Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, and says it generates more than US$2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community.