Port Manatee, near Tampa, Fla., announced its busiest first fiscal half in its nearly 50-year history, shattering several key cargo records for the six-month period ended March 31.
The Gulf Coast port achieved new first-half highs for total tonnage, throughput, and containerized and bulk cargo activity compared with the first six months of fiscal 2018, including:
- Total short tons, up 14%, to 5,132,864.
- Containerized cargo, as measured by 20-foot-equivalents units (TEUs), up 34% to 25,242.
- Containerized cargo tons, up 36% to 262,143.
- Dry bulk cargo tons, up 32% to 1.2 million.
- Liquid bulk cargo tons, up 11% to 3.4 million.
Much of the gain in containerized cargo activity is attributable to a more-than-doubling of juice volumes coming into the port in specially fitted container units, imported via Mexico services of Port Manatee-based World Direct Shipping. Also contributing significantly to container volumes is longtime tenant Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc., according to the Palmetto, Fla., port.
On the dry bulk front, volumes of fly ash, salt and cement moving across Port Manatee docks all more than doubled from the year-earlier figures, while liquid bulk gains were propelled by increases in gasoline, bunker fuels, diesel and ethanol, as well as not-from-concentrate juices.
“The sustained vibrant growth of Port Manatee underscores the success of our diverse strategy to boost cargo activity while supporting even more family-wage jobs and further economic gains throughout our region,” Manatee County Port Authority Chairwoman Vanessa Baugh said in a statement. — Transport Topics