News & Updates

Port Tampa Bay welcomes new cross-Gulf container shipping service

- Port Tampa Bay

Port Tampa Bay welcomes the commencement of a new weekly cross-Gulf container shipping service operated by Work Cat. There are two vessels in the rotation that allow for weekly frequency, each with a carrying capacity of 250 X 53-foot containers. The larger-sized containers will accommodate importers and exporters accustomed to 53’ trailers that are commonly used in over-the-road transport between Mexico and the U.S. The increased storage capacity of a 53’ container, versus the 40’ container that is typically used in most maritime trade lanes, will allow customers to maximize space utilization, and optimize their supply chain. 

“Our multinational clients look to us for reliable, flexible and secure cross-border solutions,” said Ben Enriquez, EVP of Mexico Logistics and Customs at Transplace. “The addition of Work Cat’s new high-capacity containers further streamlines the supply chain for international shippers. We welcome the capacity innovation to expand Transplace’s end-to-end global trade and customs services—from first- and last-mile delivery to customs brokerage and logistics strategies.” 

The weekly service will connect Port Tampa Bay with the Port of Brownsville Texas, near the northeast border of Mexico, and will provide a new efficient and environmentally friendly option for shippers and receivers in this high volume trade lane. Serving both U.S./Mexico trade, as well as domestic shipments, the service also follows the recent launch of the U.S. Mexico Canada (USMCA) trade agreement which came into force on July 1, 2020.

“Today’s supply chains are being stretched and disrupted, transportation capacity is extremely constrained, and shippers are desperate for new capacity at competitive service times. We’re excited to launch this new weekly service between the large and rapidly growing Northern Mexico, South Texas and Southeastern U.S. markets,” said Hank Hoffman, CEO at Work Cat.

The Work Cat vessels will utilize Port Logistics Refrigerated Services’ terminal complex in Tampa. Port Logistics Refrigerated Services has extensive expertise in all aspects of stevedoring, warehousing and terminal operations and with a state-of-the-art cold storage facility, has the capability to handle refrigerated import/export cargo and palletized breakbulk cargo.

“Establishing a strong transportation option between Brownsville and Tampa will help a number of our customers save a significant amount of time and money,” said Rick Sharp, Chief Operating Officer for Port Logistics Refrigerated Services. “We look forward to ensuring that using this route is as easy as possible for customers across the Gulf of Mexico and beyond.”

The addition of Work Cat adds to Port Tampa Bay’s diverse lines of business and gives customers more options to move cargo along the fast-growing I-4 corridor, which is home to more than 300 distribution centers.

“Port Tampa Bay is pleased to welcome Work Cat. We believe this new service that offers 53-foot containers will be a game-changer for customers seeking more space and flexibility to efficiently distribute goods throughout Florida and the entire southeastern region,” explained Paul Anderson, Port Tampa Bay President and CEO.

The Work Cat vessels Memphis and Atlanta will provide weekly container shipping service.