Port Manatee is one of Florida’s fastest-growing deepwater seaports, handling a diverse array of bulk, breakbulk, containerized and heavylift project cargos. Located at the entrance to Tampa Bay, Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, with 10 40-foot-draft berths offering seamless intermodal connectivity and competitive rates at its prime location.
Port Manatee plays a key role in literally fueling Southwest Florida’s economy, serving as gateway for nearly 475 million gallons a year of gasoline and related fuels.
In recent years, Port Manatee has attracted additional ocean carrier services, including direct weekly services of World Direct Shipping between Mexico and Port Manatee, while continuing to be the preferred U.S. Southeast gateway for long-time tenant Del Monte Fresh Produce. At the same time, Port Manatee has established itself as a project cargo trendsetter, with the opening of Air Products. Port Manatee’s $60 million liquefied natural gas heat exchanger fabrication facility immediately across U.S. 41 from port property.
In 2020, Port Manatee celebrates its 50-year anniversary, as its remarkable record of growth continues with new initiatives and infrastructure enhancements. Repaving of the port’s roadways is intended to better support burgeoning traffic volumes, while lengthening of Berth 4 to 1,000 feet from its present 600 feet aims to maximize operating capacity. An additional 15 acres of container yard is designed to help efficiently accommodate growing containerized cargo activity.
Businesses benefit from use of land surrounding the port, with the Florida International Gateway encompassing almost 5,000 acres of largely undeveloped sites adjacent to Port Manatee. Port Manatee’s Foreign-Trade Zone No. 169 allows many businesses within a 60-mile radius or 90-minute drive to defer, reduce or even eliminate costly U.S. Customs duties. No other property within Florida offers more direct, extensive and beneficial incentives to attract development of logistically focused manufacturing, processing, warehousing and distribution facilities.
Meanwhile, the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee, based at the Port Manatee Intermodal Center, is bolstering efforts to foster productive links for global commerce between markets in Florida and throughout the world. Launched in 2014, the trade hub recently opened promotional offices in Latin America and Europe, broadening its reach. The hub has conducted expo-style showcases throughout Florida and received visits from high-level government and trade officials representing more than a dozen nations, including Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Poland and Spain.
Port Manatee is one of Manatee County’s leading economic engines, continuously focused on development of commerce and creation of jobs. Big businesses are increasingly drawn to the port and surrounding land, offering hundreds of new jobs in maritime and related industrial sectors. The port generates more than $2.3 billion in annual economic impacts, while supporting more than 24,000 jobs for the region, without levying ad-valorem taxes.
Goals & Objectives
- Expanding berth capacity
- Increasing market diversity
- Increasing cargo staging capacity
Current or Planned Investments
- Rehab of Berth 6 and extension of Berth 4
- Intermodal Container Yard Phase II
- Construction of a drop trailer lot
- Continued increases in cargo tons and revenue
- Renewals or new lease agreements with leases expiring after 50 years
- Nearly 50% increase in TEUs
- AAPA Communications Award of Distinction for the Port Manatee 2019 Directory
Florida counties within a 100-mile radius including Lee, Charlotte, DeSoto, Sarasota, Hardee, Polk, Hillsborough, Highlands, Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Manatee, as well as the U.S. Southeast, eastern U.S. and Midwest/Chicago area.
To be a powerful catalyst of countywide economic growth and hub of trade related activity, by developing diversified and competitive deepwater shipping facilities and conducting maritime-related activities in a profitable and environmentally responsible manner.