Port manatee container trade soars



MANATEE COUNTY – Port Manatee’s containerized freight trade continues to hit record highs – up more than 53% in the fiscal year just ended – as total cargo tonnage transiting through the port Shipping also hit an all-time high, according to figures reported on Tuesday.

In its fiscal year ended Sept. 30, a record 135,660 twenty-foot equivalent container units passed through the docks at Central and Southwest Florida’s preferred gateway for global trade, rising 53.3% compared to movements of 88,466 TEUs over the previous 12 months. The FY2021 figure is more than 3 1/2 times the 38,361 TEUs handled by Port Manatee three years earlier, in FY2018.

Port Manatee also hit a record total cargo tonnage in fiscal 2021, with 10,451,566 short tons handled, up 12.1% from 9,327,043 tons in fiscal 2020 and eclipsing the previous record of 10,081,743 tonnes handled in fiscal year 2019.

“The pandemic has by no means slowed down the safe and efficient flow of goods through Port Manatee, as we competently respond to consumer demands for everything from fresh produce to forest products,” said Carlos Buqueras, executive director of Manatee County’s vibrant seaport. “And, with the completion of our expanded container yard and additional infrastructure upgrades on the horizon, Port Manatee is uniquely positioned to support its strong increase in cargo volume.

The soon-to-be-completed expansion more than doubles the size of the paved facility attached to Port Manatee Docks 12 and 14, bringing the site to 21.9 acres.

Two carriers are behind Port Manatee’s container volume increase last year: World Direct Shipping and Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc. WDS, based in Port Manatee, has added a third company-owned vessel and a fleet of 53 foot long ocean containers at its expanding services providing the fastest short sea link between Mexico and the Southeastern United States since 2014. Meanwhile, the Del Monte unit, which has been bringing fruit from Latin America to its distribution center in the south-east of the port since 1989, has completed its transition to a new generation, low-energy container ship.

Measured in short tons, Port Manatee’s container trade for FY2021 also reached a high level, reaching 1,012,376 tons, up 51.4% from 668,672 tons in FY2020.

The tonnage of forest products passing through Port Manatee in FY2021 was more than 2.3 times that of the previous 12-month period, rising to 331,024 tonnes from 142,312 tonnes a year earlier. The volume of wood pulp – including that used in the manufacture of highly demanded toilet paper – reached 138,950 tonnes, more than four times the FY20 volume of 26,373 tonnes, while the tonnage of plywood and of particle board more than tripled, reaching 63,038 tonnes from 15,366 tonnes. Lumber volume increased 28.3%, from 100,573 tonnes to 129,036 tonnes.

The flow of petroleum products through Port Manatee also remained strong, with the 9,376,621 barrels (393,818,082 gallons) passing through the seaport in fiscal 2021, down just 0.7% from the 9,441 488 barrels (396,542,454 gallons) a year earlier.

“Port Manatee continues its extraordinary record of record activity while meeting the needs of our region and beyond,” said Reggie Bellamy, chairman of the Manatee County Port Authority. “At the same time, we and our industry partners are increasing our significant contributions. to economic prosperity.

Located “where Tampa Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico,” Port Manatee is the closest US deep-water seaport to the enlarged Panama Canal, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving containers, ships and boats. bulk, general cargo, heavy loads, projects and general cargo The autonomous port generates more than 3.9 billion dollars in annual economic impacts while providing more than 27,000 direct and indirect jobs, all without benefiting from ” local tax support.

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