World Direct Shipping Extends Port Manatee Agreement

Manatee County Port Authority

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World Direct Shipping, a container line based in Port Manatee, Fla., announced it extended its agreement with the Central-Southwest Florida seaport and added a third vessel to its rapidly growing weekly services across the Gulf of Mexico.

The port is located in Palmetto, Fla.

The extension could bring total value of the World Direct Shipping contract through 2026 to more than $8 million, inclusive of dockage, wharfage and related charges, Port Manatee officials said Jan. 14.

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World Direct Shipping’s cargo volume rose 90% in 2019 compared with 2018, with total throughput reaching nearly 50,000 20-foot-equivalent container units, according to Carlos Diaz, the company’s director.

Since initiating one weekly service to Port Manatee from the southern Veracruz port of Coatzacoalcos with a single vessel in late 2014, World Direct Shipping has extended its offerings to encompass Tuxpan, the closest commercial port to Mexico City, as well as Tampico, in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.

The latest vessel to enter World Direct Shipping service is the 430-foot-long M/V Queen B II, which made its first arrival at Port Manatee on Jan. 10, bringing 231 high-cube, 40-foot-long empty refrigerated containers from China. The containers are enhancing World Direct Shipping’s equipment fleet.

Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavy-lift, project and general cargo customers. — Transport Topics

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