Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico,” Port Manatee is the closest US deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal. The port’s skyrocketing containerized cargo trade continues to rise to record heights; numbers have soared more than 53 percent in the just-ended fiscal year. According to figures reported on Tuesday, total cargo tonnage moving through the seaport has also reached an all-time high.
In its fiscal year ended Sept. 30, a record 135,660 twenty-foot-equivalent container units crossed the docks of Central and Southwest Florida’s preferred gateway for global commerce, up 53.3 percent from moves of 88,466 TEUs in the preceding 12-month period. The fiscal 2021 figure is more than 3 1/2 times the 38,361 TEUs handled by Port Manatee just three years earlier, in fiscal 2018.
The soon-to-be-completed expansion is more than doubling the size of the paved facility adjoining Port Manatee’s Berth 12 and 14 docks, bringing the yard’s extent to 21.9 acres.