Container volume at Florida's Port Manatee reached a full-year record for the first 10 months of its current fiscal year.
During the 10-month period from Oct. 1, 2016, through July 31, 2017, Port Manatee saw moves of 32,907 twenty-foot-equivalent container units – significantly more than the Palmetto port’s full-year high mark of 30,431 TEUs established in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2010.
The total container volume of 32,901 TEUs for the first 10 months of fiscal 2017 is up 47% compared with the first 10 months of the preceding fiscal year. During all of fiscal 2016, Port Manatee realized moves of 26,210 TEUs.
Port officials attribute the increase to the ongoing transition to containers from breakbulk shipping by longtime tenant Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc. for its imports of Central American pineapples and bananas, as well as the continuing success of World Direct Shipping’s weekly service that has brought refrigerated produce from Mexico since November 2014.
“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,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director, who pointed out that the port within the past year has extended its agreements with both Del Monte and World Direct Shipping. “The numbers support that Port Manatee is indeed the fastest-growing container port on Tampa Bay.”