SeaPort Manatee continues its record-setting activity, including an increase of nearly 35 percent in containerized cargo tonnage for the just-ended fiscal year, according to figures released today [Thursday, Oct. 13] by the Southwest and Central Florida trade hub.
In the 12-month period ended Sept. 30, SeaPort Manatee saw moves of 1,363,106 tons of containerized cargo, up 34.6 percent from such tonnage in its 2021 fiscal year, while reporting all-time-high total tonnage of 11,030,762, up 5.5 percent from the preceding fiscal year, led by a 39.7 percent gain in noncontainerized breakbulk activity, to 807,632 tons.
Measured in 20-foot-equivalent container units, SeaPort Manatee handled a record
177,108 TEUs in fiscal 2022, up 30.6 percent from fiscal 2021 – and more than double the seaport’s TEU count in fiscal 2020.
“With safe, efficient movement of record levels of commerce, SeaPort Manatee keeps building upon its role as preferred gateway for delivering diverse cargos throughout Southwest and Central Florida and beyond,” said Carlos Buqueras, SeaPort Manatee’s executive director. “As recovery and rebuilding efforts continue in the aftermath of devastation wrought in late September by Hurricane Ian, SeaPort Manatee is serving as a critical hub for providing fuels, lumber and other key goods.”
Petroleum products remain the largest commodity sector at SeaPort Manatee, with 1,493,883 short tons moving through the port in fiscal 2022, up 18.6 percent from fiscal 2021. That annual throughput equates to 404.6 million gallons of fuels.
Led by a 73.1 percent increase in tons of plywood and particle board and a 52 percent rise in woodpulp tonnage, SeaPort Manatee’s forest products throughput climbed 40.9 percent, to 472,970 tons, in fiscal 2022.
Meanwhile, 420,582 tons of containerized fruits and vegetables moved across SeaPort Manatee docks in fiscal 2022, an increase of 24.6 percent from fiscal 2021, with cross-Gulf services of SeaPort Manatee-based World Direct Shipping and Latin American services of Coral Gables, Florida-headquartered Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. carrying most of that volume. In addition, 520,212 tons – or nearly 125 million gallons – of fruit juice came through SeaPort Manatee in the latest 12-month period, up 14 percent from a year earlier.
“Working closely with industry partners in sustaining record levels of commerce, SeaPort Manatee continues to enhance its infrastructure, including through ongoing expansion of dockside container yard facilities, while offering more than 5,000 acres of on- and near-port properties for future development,” said Reggie Bellamy, chairman of the Manatee County Port Authority. “At this crucial time for hundreds of thousands of storm-wracked Floridians, SeaPort Manatee is once again ably stepping up to meet demands.”
Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico,” SeaPort Manatee is a dynamic global trade hub, serving as the vibrant ships-to-shelves gateway for burgeoning Southwest and Central Florida markets, with convenient rail and roadway links, including to the distribution-center-filled Tampa/Orlando Interstate 4 corridor. The closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, SeaPort Manatee offers 10 deep-draft berths, proficiently fulfilling diverse demands of container, liquid and dry bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The self-sustaining port generates more than $5.1 billion in annual economic impacts while providing for more than 37,000 direct and indirect jobs – all without benefit of local property tax support.