SeaPort Manatee is one of Florida’s largest and fastest- growing deepwater seaports, handling a diverse array of bulk, breakbulk, containerized and heavylift project cargos. Located at the entrance to Tampa Bay, SeaPort Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, with 10 40-foot-draft berths offering superior intermodal connectivity and competitive rates at its prime location.
SeaPort Manatee plays a key role in literally fueling Southwest Florida’s economy, serving as gateway for 400-million gallons a year of gasoline and related fuels.
In recent years, SeaPort Manatee has attracted additional ocean carrier services, including direct weekly services of World Direct Shipping between Mexico and SeaPort Manatee, while continuing to be the preferred U.S. Southeast gateway for longtime tenant Del Monte Fresh Produce. At the same time, SeaPort Manatee has established itself as a project cargo trendsetter, with the opening of Air Products SeaPort Manatee’s $60 million liquefied natural gas heat exchanger fabrication facility immediately across U.S. 41 from port property.
In 2021, SeaPort Manatee continued its remarkable record of growth with new initiatives and infrastructure enhancements. Expanding the port’s container yard by 13.5 acres will help efficiently accommodate growing containerized cargo activity while the lengthening of Berth 4 by 600 feet aims to maximize operating capacity. Improvements to the port’s south gate, including the installation of two bi-directional traffic lanes, will accelerate and enhance the screening and vetting process of port visitors. Businesses benefit from the use of land surrounding the port, with the Florida International Gateway encompassing almost 5,000 acres of largely undeveloped sites adjacent to SeaPort Manatee.
SeaPort Manatee’s Foreign-Trade Zone 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 the development of logistically focused manufacturing, processing, warehousing, and distribution facilities.
Meanwhile, the International Trade Hub at SeaPort Manatee, based at the SeaPort Manatee Intermodal Center, is bolstering efforts to foster productive links for global commerce between markets in Florida and worldwide. 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.
SeaPort Manatee is one of Manatee County’s leading economic engines, continuously focused on developing commerce and the creation of jobs. Big businesses are increasingly drawn to the port and surrounding land, offering hundreds of new maritime and related industrial sector jobs. The port generates more than $3.9 billion in annual economic impact while supporting more than 27,000 jobs, all without the benefit of local property tax support.
Goals & Objectives
- Expanding berth capacity
- Increasing market diversity
- Increasing cargo staging capacity
Current or Planned Investments
- Berth 4 Extension
- Intermodal Container Yard Phase III
- Construction of a 150 sqft dry/chill warehouse
- Continued increases in cargo tons and revenue container TEU rose by 53.3 percent in the past fiscal year
- Extension of lease agreements with long-term tenants and business partners
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.