News & Updates

Port Manatee registers $3.9 billion annual economic impact

- Port Manatee

Diverse operations at Port Manatee marine terminals generate economic activity pegged at more than $3.9 billion a year, benefiting the people of Manatee County and beyond.

Port Manatee’s annual economic impact comes in at more than $3.9 billion, with the port directly and indirectly generating 27,156 jobs, according to a report released today [Tuesday, May 19] to the Manatee County Port Authority.

“As this new study underscores, Port Manatee is abundantly fulfilling its mission to serve as a powerful catalyst of countywide economic growth and hub of trade-related activity,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director.

The study was conducted by Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based Martin Associates, which has performed more than 1,000 such assessments worldwide over the course of 35 years. It is modeled upon the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2019, during which Port Manatee broke numerous cargo records, including surpassing 10 million tons of total throughput for the first time in its 50-year history.

“While it is difficult to predict ultimate effects of present global challenges, Port Manatee is safely maintaining waterborne operations, including moving cargos destined for food banks and shelters,” added Buqueras, citing the more than 70,000 boxes of fruit generously donated by longtime port tenant Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. “Even in times of worldwide uncertainty, the people of Manatee County know they can continue to count upon Port Manatee and its stakeholders to furnish a solid socioeconomic cornerstone.”

At Del Monte Fresh Produce Co.’s Port Manatee Distribution Center, a shipment of donated fruit is loaded for delivery to a local food bank.

The new report pegs Port Manatee’s annual economic impact at $3,935,724,000. That number is up more than 65 percent from the $2,380,202,000 figure in the last similar report, which was based upon 2006 data, while overall jobs generated by Port Manatee activity rose 33 percent.

Port Manatee, under the foresighted direction of the Manatee County Port Authority, attributes much of its enduring success to diversity of its cargo mix, which ranges from tropical produce and citrus juices to gasoline and granite to phosphates and forest products.

“A diverse base of activity has been vital to Port Manatee’s sustained ability to contribute so substantially to the well-being of Manatee County and beyond,” said Priscilla Whisenant Trace, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority. “Meanwhile, strategically expanding port infrastructure and nearly 5,000 acres of surrounding green space provide ample opportunities for even greater impacts in the future.”

Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico,” Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The self-sustaining port generates more than $3.9 billion in annual economic impact while providing for more than 27,000 direct and indirect jobs, all without benefit of local property tax support.

The economic impact report of Port Manatee can be viewed here