Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee has achieved certification as a member of the federal Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism homeland security program, facilitating expedited clearance of import shipments.
“Port Manatee’s C-TPAT certification comes at a particularly propitious time, as the port sees a rise in containerized cargo activity,” said Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority. “As a trusted partner in C-TPAT, Port Manatee is now able to further enhance efficiencies for swift movement of containerized produce and other goods.”
Port Manatee’s director of seaport security, David St. Pierre, commented, “Our port’s users benefit through receiving front-of-the-line inspection privileges, thereby reducing cargo processing times while increasing overall security.”
Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director, said, “Through its C-TPAT participation, Port Manatee is demonstrating its good corporate citizenship while playing an active role in the war against terrorism.”
C-TPAT is a post-9/11 voluntary supply chain security program of U.S. Customs and Border Protection through which members with documented risk alleviation procedures are subject to fewer Customs examinations and thus benefit from accelerated processing of cargo.
Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico,” Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The port generates more than $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while supporting more than 24,000 jobs, without levying ad-valorem taxes.