PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee is proficiently serving as import hub for the world’s largest recreational boat and yacht retailer, underscoring capabilities for moving oversize cargos via Central and Southwest Florida’s preferred gateway for global commerce.
Handling at Port Manatee of the most recent shipment from China of 14 Aquila catamarans – measuring as long as 54 feet each – is drawing kudos from Alain Raas, a brand manager with Clearwater, Florida-based MarineMax Inc., who praised the port, vessel crew and stevedoring firm Federal Marine Terminals Inc., citing a “very good job by your team managing the vessel and keeping our product in great shape for a successful offload.”
The latest 14 yachts arrived at Port Manatee from China’s Port of Changshu on Saturday, Aug. 7, aboard Fednav’s Federal Baltic and were all discharged the same day, with 11 of the catamarans heading by water to MarineMax locations in the Tampa Bay area and the British Virgin Islands and the remaining three boats going on flatbed trucks to MarineMax stores in Florida, Georgia and New York.
“FMT is very pleased to have worked collaboratively with Port Manatee in the safe and successful discharge of this high-value cargo on board Fednav’s Federal Baltic,” said Matthew McPhail, vice president of sales and marketing at Federal Marine Terminals. “This successful operation of the Fednav Asia service to North America continues to reflect the seamless and fully integrated service Fednav Ltd. offers its customers.”
MarineMax’s Raas commented, “Thank you everyone for an efficient offload of the cargo. Sincerely appreciate the port offload team working so hard and being so easy to work with. I look forward to the next shipment arriving at Port Manatee in the near future.”
Port Manatee anticipates receiving its next shipment of yachts in October.
The August shipment follows a similar delivery of 13 yachts for MarineMax on April 27, when G2 Ocean’s Star Loen arrived at Port Manatee from China. FMT also served as stevedore for the earlier shipment.
“Port Manatee is privileged to serve the yacht industry with highly skilled professional capabilities for proficiently handling oversize cargos,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director. “We look forward to working with our team partners in advancing our expanding role in this specialized sector.”
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 self-sustaining port generates more than $3.9 billion in annual economic impacts while providing for more than 27,000 direct and indirect jobs, all without benefit of local property tax support.