Port Manatee welcoming energy-efficient Del Monte containerships

Date posted: 01/14/2021
Containers are offloaded from Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc.’s Del Monte Spirit as the energy-efficient vessel makes its Jan. 9 inaugural call at Port Manatee.

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee is now receiving imports of Central American fruit via the newest energy-efficient refrigerated containerships of longtime port tenant Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc.

 “These new-generation vessels bring significant sustainability and operational advances while heralding the next era in Port Manatee’s long-term partnership with one of North America’s leading marketers and distributors of fresh produce,” Reggie Bellamy, chairman of the Manatee County Port Authority, said in welcoming the Saturday [Jan. 9] inaugural call of the Del Monte Spirit at Port Manatee.

 Fresh Del Monte Produce, which has been importing fruit into Port Manatee since 1989, is transitioning to deployment of the eco-friendly containerships in place on noncontainerized vessels to bring burgeoning volumes of bananas, pineapples and avocados to its Southeast distribution center at Manatee County’s rapidly growing container hub.

The Del Monte Spirit, like five sibling vessels, has a full cargo capacity of 1,276 twenty-foot-equivalent container units, or TEUs, with 634 plugs for 40-foot-long high-cube refrigerated containers, or reefers.

The new ships help fulfill a company commitment to dramatically reduce vessel fuel consumption and emissions, according to Helmuth Lutty, senior vice president of shipping operations at Coral Gables, Florida-based Fresh Del Monte Produce.

“As one of the world’s leading producers, marketers and distributors of fresh fruits and vegetables, we have set a very high bar for all the reefer containers and ships in our fleet,” Lutty said. “These six new vessels set the bar even higher, and allow us to deliver the high-quality fresh fruits and vegetables we are known for while meeting our sustainability goals.”

The vessels feature fuel-efficient hull design, emissions-reducing scrubber systems, connections to operate on shore power when at berth, and the latest in preventive maintenance technologies.

Lutty was among those celebrating the Jan. 9 call of the Del Monte Spirit. In addition to Bellamy, those participating in an inaugural call ceremony and tours of the vessel included Denise Tuck, Fresh Del Monte Produce’s Port Manatee-based port manager; Capt. Roman Federov, the ship’s master; Arthur Savage, president of ship agency A.R. Savage & Son; and Carlos Buqueras, executive director of Port Manatee.

“The new Del Monte vessels represent the latest development in the advancement of Port Manatee as Central and Southwest Florida’s preferred gateway for global commerce,” Buqueras said. “Fruits arriving on these ships further add to the record volumes of containerized cargo crossing Port Manatee docks and underscore the importance of key infrastructure enhancements.”

An all-time-high 88,466 TEUs of containerized cargo crossed Port Manatee docks in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2020, up 54.6 percent from the preceding 12-month period and 2.3 times the fiscal 2018 volume. Meanwhile, the $8.3 million project to nearly double the size of Port Manatee’s 10-acre dockside container yard is moving toward mid-2021 completion.

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.

Touring the Del Monte Spirit upon its Jan. 9 inaugural call at Port Manatee are, from left, Capt. Roman Federov, the ship’s master; Reggie Bellamy, chairman of the Manatee County Port Authority; Helmuth Lutty, senior vice president of shipping operations for Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc.; and Denise Tuck, Fresh Del Monte Produce’s Port Manatee-based port manager.
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Bellamy elected to one-year term as Manatee County Port Authority chairman

Date posted: 12/28/2020
Manatee County Commissioner Reggie Bellamy has been selected to a one-year term as chairman of the Manatee County Port Authority.

PALMETTO, Florida – Manatee County Commissioner Reggie Bellamy has been elected to serve a one-year term as chairman of the Manatee County Port Authority, the governing board of Port Manatee.
Bellamy, a Manatee County native, was chosen late Tuesday [Dec. 15] for the port board chairman position during a regular meeting of the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners.

Bellamy, who was the port board’s first vice chairman since Jan. 1, 2020, began serving in the chairman role Nov. 17, when Priscilla Whisenant Trace’s 2020 term as chairwoman concluded upon swearing in of new commissioners chosen by Manatee County voters in the Nov. 3 general election.

Also selected at the commission meeting to serve one-year port board officer terms, effective Jan. 1, 2021, are Misty Servia, first vice chairwoman; James Satcher, second vice chairman; and Carol Whitmore, third vice chairwoman.

Port Manatee’s seven-member governing board is completed by Vanessa Baugh, George Kruse and Kevin Van Ostenbridge.

The Manatee County Port Authority board consists of the seven members of the elected Manatee County Commission, but with distinctively separate officers and financial accountability. The authority sets policy and oversees major expenditures for Port Manatee.

Members of the port authority board serve staggered four-year terms, with annual election of officers.
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 impact while providing for more than 27,000 direct and indirect jobs, all without benefit of local property tax support.

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Port Manatee celebrates 50 years as regional economic engine

Date posted: 10/29/2020
From its humble beginnings in 1970 (left), the present Port Manatee (right) has emerged as a global hub of commerce, with thousands of surrounding acres still ripe for development. (Historical photo courtesy of Manatee County Public Library Historical Digital Collections.)

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee is celebrating a half century as a powerful regional economic catalyst and global commercial hub, with today [Thursday, Oct. 29] proclaimed Port Manatee Day in recognition of the 50-year anniversary of the diverse port’s dedication.
“As the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, perfectly positioned on the doorstep of dynamic markets of Southwest and Central Florida, with thousands of acres ripe for development, Port Manatee is on the cusp of an even more vibrant half century to come,” said Priscilla Whisenant Trace, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority, which unanimously approved the Port Manatee Day proclamation at its Tuesday [Oct. 27] meeting.

The self-sustaining port already 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. In its fiscal year ended Sept. 30, Port Manatee handled a record 88,466 twenty-foot-equivalent units of containerized cargo, up nearly 55 percent from the preceding 12-month period.

Port Manatee’s formal dedication ceremony was held Oct. 29, 1970. That was 82 days after the fledgling port received its first vessel call, with 2,000 tons of Korean plywood offloaded from the M/V Fermland on Aug. 7, 1970. Setting the stage for the port’s birth were two 1965 events: Manatee County’s purchase of 357 acres near Piney Point for $900 per acre with intent to launch the Barge and Industrial Port, and the Florida Legislature’s passage of legislation creating the Manatee County Port Authority.

“A proactive diversification strategy and ongoing infrastructure enhancements have ensured five decades of leadership for Port Manatee and are establishing the foundation for further prosperity for future generations,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director.
Projects currently under way at Port Manatee include a near-doubling of the port’s 10-acre dockside container yard. The port offers 10 cargo berths, each with 40-foot draft, serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers.

While, with fortified health and safety procedures, cargo has continued to flow through Port Manatee since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, port officials had to cancel planned golden anniversary celebration activities, with hopes of rescheduling commemorative events in 2021.
Go online to http://bit.ly/PortManateeVideo to view a short video celebrating Port Manatee’s 50-year anniversary.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Director of Communications and Public Relations
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

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Port Manatee container trade surges 54.6 percent in fiscal 2020

Date posted: 10/13/2020
Containerized cargo trade through Port Manatee is on the rise, with the number of 20-foot-equivalent units moving across docks surging 54.6 percent in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2020, compared with the preceding 12-month period.

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee’s dynamic containerized cargo trade continues to swell at a record pace, surging nearly 55 percent in the just-ended fiscal year, according to figures reported today [Tuesday, Oct. 13].

In the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, an all-time-high 88,466 twenty-foot-equivalent container units crossed Port Manatee docks, up 54.6 percent from the preceding 12-month period, when the port saw moves of 57,239 TEUs. That figure was up 49.2 percent over fiscal 2018, when 38,361 TEUs moved through the port.

“With container throughput more than doubling over the course of just two years, Port Manatee is increasingly fulfilling regional consumer demands for goods ranging from fresh produce to appliances,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director. “As our dockside container yard expansion project advances toward mid-2021 completion, Port Manatee is positioning to continue to efficiently handle rapidly growing cargo volumes.”

The container yard expansion is adding 9.3 acres to the existing 10-acre paved facility adjoining Port Manatee’s Berth 12 and 14 docks.

Port Manatee’s vibrant container trade is being driven by robust growth of Port Manatee-based World Direct Shipping, which has been importing produce and other goods from Mexico since 2014, and Del Monte Fresh Produce Co., which is in its fourth decade of bringing Latin American fruit to the port.

While the COVID-19 pandemic and related impacts did not slow Port Manatee’s container upsurge – including a 24.9 percent rise in containerized cargo tons to 668,672 – some other cargo sectors were negatively affected in the just-ended fiscal year. The port’s total cargo tonnage for fiscal 2020 of 9,327,183 was down 7.5 percent from the record 10,081,743 tons in fiscal 2019, with liquid bulk tonnage slipping 8.6 percent, to 5,957,157, and dry bulk tonnage falling 16.7 percent, to 1,866,383. Led by increased volumes of lumber and scrap metal, Port Manatee’s general cargo throughput was up 9.3 percent, to 531,019 tons.

Buqueras noted that volumes of fuels moving through Port Manatee are now back on the upswing as Southwest Florida motorists begin to drive more.
Priscilla Whisenant Trace, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority, said she is encouraged by the port’s latest cargo numbers, realized amid implementation of enhanced health and safety measures.

“We commend the men and women who are maintaining essential operations at Port Manatee, serving consumers of Southwest Florida and beyond,” she said. “Sustained growth of Port Manatee’s container trade is a testament to success of our diverse strategy, with key infrastructure investments poised to facilitate even greater cargo activity and deliver still more positive socioeconomic impacts throughout our region.”

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.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Director of Communications and Public Relations
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

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Port Manatee promotes three, forms new department

Date posted: 10/01/2020

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee has promoted three members of its professional team, effective today [Thursday, Oct. 1], and created a new communications and public relations department.

Heading the newly formed department is Virginia Zimmermann, who has been elevated to the position of director of communications and public relations. She came aboard at Port Manatee in October 2013 as marketing and public relations manager and most recently served as senior manager of communications and government relations.

Also in the new department, Caitlin Mullan has been promoted to communications specialist. She joined the port in June 2019 as communications and marketing assistant.

Meanwhile, David “Moe” Moravchik has been upgraded to deputy director of public safety and security at Port Manatee. Moravchik, a 25-year U.S. Army airborne tanker combat veteran who retired with the rank of first sergeant, came to the port in March 2018 as security compliance officer and served since June 2018 as security compliance manager.

Port Manatee’s executive director, Carlos Buqueras, to whom Zimmermann now directly reports, said, “We are enthusiastic about the promotions earned by these three exceptional members of the Port Manatee team. Furthermore, we look forward to the work of the new department on multiple fronts in advancing the communications, public relations and government relations initiatives of the port in these unprecedented times.”

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 impact while providing for more than 27,000 direct and indirect jobs, all without benefit of local property tax support.

MEDIA CONTACT
Virginia Zimmermann
Director of Communications and Public Relations
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

 

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Port Manatee achieves homeland security C-TPAT recertification

Date posted: 09/29/2020

PALMETTO, Florida – With its implementation of enhanced cybersecurity measures, Port Manatee has earned federal recertification as a member of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism program.

“As a member of the C-TPAT homeland security program, Port Manatee is able to streamline the clearance of import shipments of trusted port users while boosting overall portwide security,” said David St. Pierre, Port Manatee’s director of public safety and security. “This recertification reflects Port Manatee’s achievement of heightened federal standards for cybersecurity.”

Port Manatee received initial C-TPAT certification in 2016, with its final member approval coming in 2017.

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.

“Certified C-TPAT membership is part of Port Manatee’s sustained commitment to supply chain integrity, protecting those who work at the port while ensuring the swift, efficient movement of cargos,” said Priscilla Whisenant Trace, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority.

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 impact while providing for more than 27,000 direct and indirect jobs, all without benefit of local property tax support.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Manager of Communications
and Government Relations
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

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Port Manatee advances $8.3 million dockside yard expansion

Date posted: 07/28/2020

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee is advancing an $8.3 million project to nearly double the size of its dockside container yard with approval today [Tuesday, July 28] of a construction contract by the Manatee County Port Authority.

The container yard expansion, targeted for June 2021 completion, promises to add 9.3 acres to the existing 10-acre paved facility adjoining Port Manatee’s Berth 12 and 14 docks.

“Expansion of the dockside container yard to encompass 19.3 acres not only will accommodate dynamic demand from such longtime users as Port Manatee-based World Direct Shipping and Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. but also will literally and figuratively pave the way for further global commerce opportunities at our flourishing seaport,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director. “The expansion project is a cornerstone of the two-year, $38 million capital enhancement initiative under way at Port Manatee.”

World Direct Shipping, among the fastest-growing U.S. container lines, has been importing produce and other goods from Mexico since 2014, while Del Monte, in its fourth decade operating at Port Manatee, brings in bananas, pineapples and avocados from Central and South America.

The newly awarded construction contract with Crisdel Group Inc. of Tampa is for $7,890,197.90, with that amount equally divided between port funds and a Florida Department of Transportation grant. Engineering work is being completed under a separate $413,578 contract with Stantec, also of Tampa.

The construction undertaking includes paving, drainage infrastructure and high-mast lighting, as well as the installation of 150 new electrical receptacles for plugging in refrigerated cargo containers, to bring Port Manatee’s total contingent of such reefer plugs to 600.

“In these challenging times for our nation, Port Manatee continues to thrive as a vital economic engine for our region and beyond, serving as a preferred gateway for numerous key commodities,” said Priscilla Whisenant Trace, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority. “With the expansion of container yard capabilities, Port Manatee is opening the proverbial door for even greater international trade and accompanying well-paying jobs.”

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 impact while providing for more than 27,000 direct and indirect jobs, all without benefit of local property tax support.

 

Port Manatee’s dockside container yard is being nearly doubled in size, to 19.3 acres, through an $8.3 million project that is a cornerstone of the port’s two-year, $38 million capital enhancement initiative.

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Port Manatee awarded $813,090 federal security grant

Date posted: 07/02/2020

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee is receiving a federal grant for $813,090, enabling advancement of multiple security-related enhancements, port officials said today [Thursday, July 2].

The latest award under the Port Security Grant Program of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency brings to more than $13 million the total federal grant support for Port Manatee security initiatives since 2005, according to David St. Pierre, Port Manatee’s director of public safety and security.

“Port Manatee is grateful to FEMA for the significant grant funding, which over the years has been critical in facilitating leading-edge safety and security throughout port land and neighboring waters,” St. Pierre said. “The most recent award, for 100 percent of the amount requested by Port Manatee, will be used to complete four vital endeavors.”

The $813,090 federal award for fiscal 2020, to be augmented by a 25 percent port match of $271,030, is to allow the port to:
 Update and expand the port’s video security and surveillance system;
 Replace about 2 1/2 miles of outdated fencing to bolster security along the port’s north perimeter;
 Procure and service upgraded radio communications equipment, making it compatible with the recently enhanced Manatee County emergency response system; and
 Replace the engine of the port’s shallow-water response vessel, which is crucial to enforcement of security zones, including in areas inhabited by seagrasses.

Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director, noted that the port’s security needs continue to swell as it accommodates rising cargo volumes. In its fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2019, Port Manatee broke several records, including eclipsing 10 million tons of total cargo throughput for the first time in its 50-year history. “We’re greatly appreciative of the federal support for our efforts to protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism, enhance maritime domain awareness and improve portwide maritime security risk management at our fast-growing seaport,” Buqueras said.

Priscilla Whisenant Trace, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority, added, “The Port Security Grant Program funding is integral to our ability to protect the people who work at the port and the assets of the port and its users, as well as the integrity of the overall supply chain.”

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 impact while providing for more than 27,000 direct and indirect jobs, all without benefit of local property tax support.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Manager of Communications
and Government Relations
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

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Port Manatee registers $3.9 billion annual economic impact

Date posted: 05/19/2020

Diverse operations at Port Manatee marine terminals generate economic activity pegged at more than $3.9 billion a year, benefiting the people of Manatee County and beyond.

 

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee’s annual economic impact comes in at more than $3.9 billion, with the port directly and indirectly generating 27,156 jobs, according to a report released today [Tuesday, May 19] to the Manatee County Port Authority.

“As this new study underscores, Port Manatee is abundantly fulfilling its mission to serve as a powerful catalyst of countywide economic growth and hub of trade-related activity,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director.

The study was conducted by Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based Martin Associates, which has performed more than 1,000 such assessments worldwide over the course of 35 years. It is modeled upon the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2019, during which Port Manatee broke numerous cargo records, including surpassing 10 million tons of total throughput for the first time in its 50-year history.

“While it is difficult to predict ultimate effects of present global challenges, Port Manatee is safely maintaining waterborne operations, including moving cargos destined for food banks and shelters,” added Buqueras, citing the more than 70,000 boxes of fruit generously donated by longtime port tenant Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. “Even in times of worldwide uncertainty, the people of Manatee County know they can continue to count upon Port Manatee and its stakeholders to furnish a solid socioeconomic cornerstone.”

The new report pegs Port Manatee’s annual economic impact at $3,935,724,000. That number is up more than 65 percent from the $2,380,202,000 figure in the last similar report, which was based upon 2006 data, while overall jobs generated by Port Manatee activity rose 33 percent.

Port Manatee, under the foresighted direction of the Manatee County Port Authority, attributes much of its enduring success to diversity of its cargo mix, which ranges from tropical produce and citrus juices to gasoline and granite to phosphates and forest products.

“A diverse base of activity has been vital to Port Manatee’s sustained ability to contribute so substantially to the well-being of Manatee County and beyond,” said Priscilla Whisenant Trace, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority. “Meanwhile, strategically expanding port infrastructure and nearly 5,000 acres of surrounding green space provide ample opportunities for even greater impacts in the future.”

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 impact while providing for more than 27,000 direct and indirect jobs, all without benefit of local property tax support.

The economic impact report of Port Manatee can be viewed here

At Del Monte Fresh Produce Co.’s Port Manatee Distribution Center, a shipment of donated fruit is loaded for delivery to a local food bank.

Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

 

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Port Manatee opens transfer facility, maximizing vital throughput

Date posted: 04/09/2020

Trailers move through Port Manatee’s newly opened transfer facility, freeing up near-dock space for containers, thus helping expedite shipments of fresh produce to consumers.

PALMETTO, Florida – A new throughput-maximizing facility opened in early April at Port Manatee is helping speed shipments of fresh produce to consumers of Florida and beyond.

Port Manatee’s newly unveiled transfer facility, with room for 120 trailers, optimizes capabilities for expediting movement of cargo by freeing up near-dock yard space for stacking as many as 300 containers at a time.

“The trailer transfer facility could not be coming online at a more encouraging time,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director. “The enhanced efficiencies this new installation facilitates already are proving vital in best utilizing port acreage to accelerate shipments of imported fruits and vegetables to consumers.”

The 3.6-acre facility was completed in three months at a port investment of $916,093 while supporting 10 construction jobs.

Shippers of produce through Port Manatee include Del Monte Fresh Produce Co., which imports bananas, pineapples and avocados from Central and South America, and Port Manatee-based World Direct Shipping, which brings in a wide array of time-sensitive perishables from Mexico.

Priscilla Whisenant Trace, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority, said the trailer transfer facility is emblematic of the prudent investments being made to ensure fullest use of port tracts.

“Strategic investments in infrastructure, such as this newest facility, are essential to Port Manatee’s ability to best serve its users and, moreover, the consumers of our region and beyond,” she said. “This is particularly important amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, as we maintain essential operations while steadfastly focused on safety and health.”

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 $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while providing for more than 24,000 direct and indirect jobs, all without benefit of local property tax support.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

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Port Manatee trade hub adds Chile office

Date posted: 02/19/2020

 

Guillermo Patricio Guzmán Marin brings more than 30 years of global commerce experience to his new role as representative at the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee’s promotional office in Santiago, Chile.

PALMETTO, Florida – The International Trade Hub at Port Manatee is further extending its network of global promotional representation with the opening of an office in Santiago, the capital and largest city of Chile.

“The new Chile office expands opportunities for the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee to fruitfully connect businesses of Southwest and Central Florida with vital world markets,” said Carlos Buqueras, executive director of Port Manatee. “The staffed presence in Santiago ideally complements overseas offices opened in early 2019 in Medellin, Colombia, and Barcelona, Spain.”

The full-service Chile office, the third for the trade hub, is slated to be joined later this year by yet another overseas office, that fourth one being in Argentina, according Buqueras.

“With these presences in major international markets, businesses of Manatee County and beyond, as well as their counterparts abroad, have extended access to foreign direct investment opportunities and other prospects for beneficially engaging in global commerce,” Buqueras said. “Since opening in 2014, the International Trade Hub has been at the leading edge of facilitating meaningful relationships between local and overseas business interests.”

The Santiago office is led by representative Guillermo Patricio Guzmán Marin, who brings to his new role three decades of experience in global trade and related disciplines. Guzmán has worked extensively in his native Chile, including for technology companies, marketing and consulting firms and business conference organizers, most recently as executive director of IoT Innovatech Latam, an annual global event focusing on information technology.

Priscilla Whisenant Trace, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority, said she is pleased to see the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee’s global reach continue to be extended.

“Further facilitation of international business connections allows Port Manatee to build upon its impressive contributions to our region’s economy,” she said.

The International Trade Hub at Port Manatee, founded in 2014 and based at the Port Manatee Intermodal Center, serves as a vital link between markets in Florida and throughout the world. The hub provides expert advice and support tools to local and global firms, assisting them with production, distribution and related activities, including development of innovative supply chain solutions.

The hub has conducted expo-style showcases throughout Florida and has 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.

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 $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while providing for more than 24,000 direct and indirect jobs, all without benefit of local property tax support.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager, Port Manatee
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

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World Direct Shipping extends Port Manatee agreement, adds vessel

Date posted: 01/14/2020

World Direct Shipping’s M/V Queen B II makes its first call at Port Manatee on Jan. 10, delivering 231 high-cube, 40-foot-long refrigerated containers being deployed to enhance the fast-growing company’s equipment fleet in trade across the Gulf of Mexico.   

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee-based World Direct Shipping has extended its agreement with the Central-Southwest Florida seaport and added a third vessel to its rapidly growing weekly services across the Gulf of Mexico.

The extension could bring total value of the WDS contract through 2026 to more than $8 million, inclusive of dockage, wharfage and related charges, Port Manatee officials said today [Tuesday, Jan. 14].

“Port Manatee is delighted to expand its mutually beneficial relationship with World Direct Shipping,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director. “This latest agreement provides assurances that support sustained investments by both the port and WDS.”

Since initiating one weekly service to Port Manatee from the southern Veracruz port of Coatzacoalcos with a single vessel in late 2014, World Direct Shipping has extended its offerings to encompass Tuxpan, the closest commercial port to Mexico City, as well as Tampico, in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.
World Direct Shipping’s cargo volume rose 90 percent in 2019 from 2018, with total throughput reaching nearly 50,000 twenty-foot-equivalent container units, or TEUs, according to Carlos Diaz, the company’s director.

“World Direct Shipping has enjoyed a solid, trusted partnership with Port Manatee from the beginning,” Diaz said. “As our operations have expanded, the port has worked diligently to keep pace with our needs.”

The latest vessel to enter WDS service is the 430-foot-long M/V Queen B II, which made its first arrival at Port Manatee on Jan. 10, bringing 231 high-cube, 40-foot-long empty refrigerated containers from China. The containers are enhancing World Direct Shipping’s equipment fleet.

The M/V Queen B II joins a second similar WDS-owned containership, the M/V Queen B, as well as the chartered 456-foot-long AS Laeticia, in World Direct Shipping’s cross-Gulf sailings. The M/V Queen B and M/V Queen B II are to be dedicated to the weekly services from Coatzacoalcos and Tampico, while the slightly larger AS Laeticia is being deployed on Tuxpan sailings.

World Direct Shipping’s three-day transit times offer the fastest short-sea connection between Mexico and the U.S. Southeast, Northeast and Midwest for refrigerated produce and other cargos, according to Diaz.

The commodity mix of WDS imports into Port Manatee is continuing to extend beyond perishable fruits, vegetables and juices to also include sugar, wood products and such finished goods as appliances. Exports to Mexico are led by paper products.

Priscilla Whisenant Trace, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority, said she is encouraged by the extension of the productive partnership between Port Manatee and World Direct Shipping. “Both Port Manatee and WDS can confidently continue to chart shared growth for years to come, Whisenant Trace said. “We are thrilled to have one of the world’s most dynamic container lines headquartered right here at Port Manatee, and we all look forward to many more years of collective successes, to the benefit of international trade and the socioeconomic wellbeing of our community.”

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 $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while providing for more than 24,000 direct and indirect jobs, all without benefit of local property tax support.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

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Manatee County Port Authority elects Whisenant Trace as chairwoman

Date posted: 12/19/2019

Manatee County Commissioner Priscilla Whisenant Trace, a fifth-generation Manatee County resident, is assuming a one-year term as chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority.

 

PALMETTO, Florida – Manatee County Commissioner Priscilla Whisenant Trace has been elected to a one-year term as chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority, the governing board of Port Manatee.

Whisenant Trace, who has served on the county’s commission and the port’s board since 2016, had her election to the chair position affirmed today [Dec. 19] at the meeting of the Manatee County Port Authority, following her selection at the Dec. 10 meeting of the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners. She succeeds Vanessa Baugh, who held the chair role the past three years.

Also affirmed at the Dec. 19 meeting to serve one-year officer terms in 2020 are Reggie Bellamy, first vice chairman; Misty Servia, second vice chairwoman; and Stephen R. Jonsson, third vice chairman.
Port Manatee’s seven-member governing board is completed by Baugh, Betsy Benac and Carol Whitmore.

Whisenant Trace was the port board’s first vice chairwoman in 2017 and again in 2019. “Serving as chairwoman during Port Manatee’s 50-year anniversary celebration is indeed a privilege,” said Whisenant Trace, whose expansive District One includes the port and surrounding lands. “I join my fellow port board members in commitment to advancing further dynamic diverse growth at Port Manatee, which, interestingly enough, counts agricultural goods among leading commodities handled.”

A fifth-generation Manatee County resident, Whisenant Trace carries on a family tradition of agricultural prominence, having in the 1980s founded Ellenton Nursery Growers with her husband, Craig. In 2015, she was chosen as Manatee County Agriculturist of the Year by the Manatee County Farm City Week Committee – an honor previously bestowed upon her grandfather, Robert Billingsley Whisenant, and her father, Robert Blake Whisenant. She is a member of several local boards, including the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority, Tampa Bay Estuary Program Policy Board and Manatee County Value Adjustment Board.

The Manatee County Port Authority board consists of the seven members of the elected Manatee County Commission, but with distinctively separate officers and financial accountability. The authority sets policy and oversees major expenditures for Port Manatee.
Members of the port authority board serve four-year staggered terms, with an annual election of officers.

The authority typically meets on the third Thursday of each month at 9 a.m. at the Port Manatee Intermodal Center, 1905 Intermodal Circle, Palmetto. The meetings are open to the public.

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 $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while providing for more than 24,000 direct and indirect jobs, all without benefit of local property tax support.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

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Port Manatee security training earns Coast Guard certification

Date posted: 12/05/2019

David St. Pierre, Port Manatee’s director of public safety and security, leads the port’s facility security officer training, which has gained new certification from the U.S. Coast Guard.

PALMETTO, Fla. – Port Manatee’s facility security officer training program – the only such approved course offered by a U.S. seaport – has earned new certification from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Port Manatee’s FSO course, certified since 2005 by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, has now received Coast Guard approval, in accordance with latest federal certification procedures.

“We are pleased to have gained this heightened level of federal certification for this vital security officer training,” said David St. Pierre, Port Manatee’s director of public safety and security. “Over the past 15 years, more than 1,150 graduates from throughout the nation have completed approved FSO training at Port Manatee, which continues to be the only seaport in the United States certified to offer such a course.”

The three-day course, offered quarterly, covers U.S. and international regulatory requirements for seaport security, security planning, vulnerability risks and assessments and interagency collaboration, all with a focus on antiterrorism.

Port Manatee’s FSO training is taught by port security personnel and additional retired Coast Guard officers, including lead instructor St. Pierre, who served more than 24 years in the Coast Guard prior to discharge as a chief quartermaster, and Edmond Morris, a retired U.S. Coast Guard commander. The course has been offered at Port Manatee since 2005, the same year St. Pierre joined the port’s management team.

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 direct and indirect jobs, without levying ad-valorem taxes.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

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Port Manatee’s Zimmermann named International Propeller Club Member of Year

Date posted: 10/24/2019

Celebrating awarding of The International Propeller Club of the United States’ International Member of the Year honors at an Oct. 17 global conference in New Orleans are, from left, Matty Appice, Port Manatee’s chief commercial officer and first vice president of the Port Manatee Propeller Club; David St. Pierre, Port Manatee’s director of public safety and security and vice president of the Southeast Region of the Propeller Club; award recipient Virginia Zimmermann, Port Manatee’s senior communications manager and second vice president of the Port Manatee Propeller Club; and maritime consultant Billy Roy, president of the Port Manatee Propeller Club.

PALMETTO, Fla. – Port Manatee’s senior communications manager, Virginia Zimmermann, is The International Propeller Club of the United States’ International Member of the Year, selected from among more than 6,000 members throughout the world.

Zimmermann received the global honor at an Oct. 17 luncheon during the maritime industry group’s 93rd annual International Convention and Conference in New Orleans.

“We are exceptionally proud of Virginia for having been chosen for this prestigious award,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director. “Not only does this well-deserved honor acknowledge Virginia’s outstanding accomplishments in advancing the Port Manatee Propeller Club, but, moreover, it recognizes the significance of Port Manatee in the worldwide maritime arena.”

Established in 1922, The International Propeller Club of the United States is a business network and service organization with more than 80 affiliates at ports throughout the world, with total professional membership of more than 6,000. The Port Manatee club was founded in 2002.

Zimmermann, who earlier this year received recognition as Port Manatee Propeller Club Member of the Year and Southeast Region Propeller Club Member of the Year, was cited for working with the local board of directors in quadrupling the number of members in the Port Manatee affiliate to 130 in fewer than two years.             Zimmermann, currently serving as the Port Manatee club’s second vice president, also received acknowledgment for her role in bolstering the chapter’s outreach efforts, including via the Manatee Chamber of Commerce’s annual Ship-Shape Showcase, and for generating support for Propeller Club college scholarships awarded to local high school students pursuing maritime industry careers. She also has put her communications skills to use in revamping the Port Manatee Propeller Club’s website.

“Virginia’s tireless volunteer efforts have been critical to the rejuvenation of the Port Manatee Propeller Club into a vibrant organization serving the maritime industry and greater community alike,” said maritime consultant Billy Roy, current president of the Port Manatee Propeller Club.

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 direct and indirect jobs, without levying ad-valorem taxes.

Caitlin Mullan
Communications and Marketing Assistant
Office 941-722-6621
Cell 941-720-5199
cmullan@portmanatee.com

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Port Manatee breaks fiscal year cargo records again

Date posted: 10/15/2019

Sustained strong volumes for longtime tenant Del Monte Fresh Produce are among key contributors to Port Manatee’s record containerized cargo figures posted in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30.

PALMETTO, Fla. – Port Manatee has again broken multiple fiscal year cargo records, including topping 10 million tons of total annual throughput for the first time in its 50-year history and enjoying a year-over-year increase of nearly 50 percent in containerized cargo activity.

In its fiscal year ended Sept. 30, the diverse Southwest Florida Gulf Coast port established new highs in total tonnage, containerized cargo units and tons and liquid and dry bulk tonnage, according to figures reported today [Tuesday, Oct. 15]. The recently ended 12-month period is the sixth consecutive fiscal year in which the port has set a new total cargo tonnage record.

“Port Manatee’s continuing outstanding record growth demonstrates that our diversified approach is succeeding in generating burgeoning volumes of trade while building upon remarkable contributions to the socioeconomic wellbeing of the region we serve,” said Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority.

The record 57,255 twenty-foot-equivalent units of containerized cargo moving across Port Manatee docks in fiscal 2019 was up 49.3 percent over the preceding 12-month span, while container tons rose more than 40 percent, to an all-time peak of 535,176. Contributing to the gains were increasing trade of Port Manatee-based World Direct Shipping, which began cross-Gulf service with Mexico in late 2014, and sustained strong volumes for Del Monte Fresh Produce, which has been bringing bananas and pineapples from Latin America to Port Manatee for more than three decades.

Overall, Port Manatee cargo tonnage in the just-ended fiscal year reached a record 10,081,743, a 6.2 percent gain over fiscal 2018. The port’s largest sector, liquid bulk, including petroleum products and juice concentrates, saw a 5 percent boost, to a peak of 6,514,807 tons, while dry bulk tonnage was up 13.7 percent, to a record 2,239,965. Granite and limestone led the dry bulk surge, rising 28.9 percent to 824,199 tons.

“Port Manatee is privileged to continue to literally and figuratively fuel the Southwest Florida economy,” said Port Manatee’s executive director, Carlos Buqueras, who noted that most of the record 474,458,292 gallons of petroleum products moving through the port in fiscal 2019, up 12.5 percent from fiscal 2018, goes to supply gas stations throughout the region.

“Moreover, Port Manatee’s persistent broad-based growth is indicative of our ability to supportively serve the full spectrum of longtime customers while attracting vibrant new business as well,” Buqueras said.

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 direct and indirect jobs, without levying ad-valorem taxes.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

 

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Port Manatee, Kinder Morgan ink terminal lease extension

Date posted: 09/19/2019

Kinder Morgan Port Manatee Terminal LLC’s 5-acre site, on which the lease has been extended through at least August 2023, encompasses ship docks, cargo warehouses, conveyor systems and truck and rail sheds.

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee and longtime stevedoring tenant Kinder Morgan Port Manatee Terminal LLC have extended their lease agreement through August 2023, with options to continue cargo operations at a 5-acre waterfront site for as many as 18 additional years.

The agreement, approved today [Thursday, Sept. 19] by the Manatee County Port Authority, ensures property lease payments and wharfage fees during the initial three-year term and any extensions.

“Port Manatee is delighted to ensure its mutually beneficial relationship with Kinder Morgan will remain in place for years to come,” said Manatee County Port Authority Chairwoman Vanessa Baugh.

Kinder Morgan has operated on the Port Manatee property since 2001, having assumed a lease in place with a predecessor entity dating back to the port’s opening in 1970. The initial term of the new lease runs from August 2020 through August 2023 and may be followed by an additional three-year extension plus three further extensions of five years apiece.

“As North America’s largest independent terminal-operating company, Kinder Morgan sees Port Manatee as a vital cog in a network that gets products where they need to be in an efficient, safe and timely manner,” said Jack Gale, Tampa-based commercial manager for Kinder Morgan Terminals, which operates more than 150 strategically located terminals. “We are pleased to continue to provide the highest quality of service at Port Manatee well into the future.”

The Kinder Morgan Port Manatee Terminal facility handles fertilizers, ores, salt and other inbound and outbound bulk cargos via multiple ship docks, warehouses, conveyor systems and truck and rail sheds.

“We are encouraged that Kinder Morgan Port Manatee Terminal saw fit to sign a multiyear extension of its lease well before the August 2020 conclusion of its existing agreement,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director. “Port Manatee highly values its partnership with Kinder Morgan and looks forward to many more years of collaboration in proficiently serving bulk cargo industry demands.”

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.

Media Contacts:

Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager, Port Manatee
Office 941-721-2323, Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

Lexey Long
Corporate Communications
Kinder Morgan Terminals
Office: 713-420-4644
lexey_long@kindermorgan.com

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Port Manatee trade hub expands reach with four-city tour

Date posted: 09/05/2019

A visitor to the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee’s Aug. 27 expo-style event in Fort Myers makes a business connection while sampling spices imported from El Salvador.

PALMETTO, Florida – Having just completed successful global business opportunity events in four Florida cities, the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee continues to expand its commerce-nurturing reach.

“After two years of success in taking the trade center’s business promotional activities on the road, plans are already in the works for what will be the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee’s third annual multicity expo tour, set for August 2020,” Manatee County Port Authority Chairwoman Vanessa Baugh said following the Aug. 26-29 showcase events held in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Bradenton and Tampa.

The 2019 International Trade Summit events, held in collaboration with local partners, welcomed hundreds of Florida business people to connect with representatives of more than 30 companies from 11 countries of Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe, as well as the United States. Participants included suppliers of a diverse range of ethnic foods and beverages, clothing, cosmetics and fragrances, high-tech equipment and business services.

“Connections made through the recent expo-style showcases and a host of expertise-sharing activities of the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee are proving to be invaluable catalysts for entrepreneurs expanding their import and export horizons,” said Port Manatee Executive Director Carlos Buqueras. “Not only is the hub’s reach flourishing throughout Florida, but opportunities also are being explored for broadening the trade center’s global presence.”

Founded in 2014 at the Port Manatee Intermodal Center, the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee unveiled promotional offices in early 2019 in Colombia and Spain, with plans for opening additional overseas offices in months to come.
The International Trade Hub at Port Manatee serves as a vital link between markets in Florida and throughout the world. The hub provides expert advice and support tools to local and global firms, assisting them with production, distribution and related activities, including development of innovative supply chain solutions.

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.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager, Port Manatee
Office 941-721-2323, Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

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Port Manatee trade hub sharing opportunities in four Florida cities in four days

Date posted: 08/22/2019

PALMETTO, Florida – The International Trade Hub at Port Manatee is taking global businesses opportunities on the road again Aug. 26-29, with expo-style showcase events to be open to the public in four Florida cities.

More than 30 companies from 11 countries are slated to participate in 2019 International Trade Summit events in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Bradenton and Tampa, building upon momentum from a three-city tour in August 2018.

“Entrepreneurs throughout Florida and beyond will have dynamic opportunities to build productive global connections through the International Trade Summit functions,” said Port Manatee Executive Director Carlos Buqueras. “Taking Port Manatee’s world-class trade center on the road with a series of interactive events to which the public is invited maximizes the prospects for Florida businesses to benefit from the hub’s extensive expertise while developing highly valuable commercial relationships around the world.”

The 2019 International Trade Summit series features four separate showcases, each put on in conjunction with local partners:

  • Fort Lauderdale: Monday, Aug. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Port Everglades, 1850 Eller Drive, Fort Lauderdale;
  • Fort Myers/Lee County: Tuesday, Aug. 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at Lee County Economic Development Office, Conference Room 118, 2201 2nd St., Fort Myers;
  • Bradenton-Sarasota: Wednesday, Aug. 28, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at Manatee Chamber of Commerce, 222 10th St. West, Bradenton; and
  • Tampa: Thursday, Aug. 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at The Portico, 1101 N. Florida Ave., Tampa.

Participating companies include purveyors of a wide range of foods and beverages, apparel, fragrances and cosmetics, technological innovations and business services. Countries represented include Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru and Spain, as well as the United States.

“In its sixth year as a vibrant catalyst for bringing global business interests together, the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee is once again reaching out throughout our state to expand rewarding access to lucrative worldwide markets,” said Manatee County Port Authority Chairwoman Vanessa Baugh.

For more about the hub and the events, visit www.internationalhubportmanatee.com or phone 941-721-2370.

The International Trade Hub at Port Manatee, founded in 2014, serves as a vital link between markets in Florida and throughout the world. The hub provides expert advice and support tools to local and global firms, assisting them with production, distribution and related activities, including development of innovative supply chain solutions.

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.

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Port Manatee awarded more than $1.4 million to bolster security

Date posted: 08/07/2019

Port Manatee’s south security gate facility is to be expanded into a full-service, four-lane complex with support of a fiscal 2019 Port Security Grant Program award.

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee has been awarded $1,425,000 in federal funding to advance three projects to bolster security at the fast-growing Central-Southwest Florida Gulf Coast port.
“Port Manatee greatly appreciates federal support of our efforts to ensure safe, secure and efficient flows of dynamically increasing cargo volumes,” Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority, said today, following notification of the fiscal 2019 Port Security Grant Program award from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency.
David St. Pierre, Port Manatee’s director of public safety and security, commented, “Since initial installation of the present port security system in 2010, Port Manatee’s gate activity has tripled, to the current annual pace of 750,000 transactions. These grant monies, along with federal awards in preceding years, allow Port Manatee to stay at the leading edge of port security while accommodating escalating amounts of cargo.”
The latest award of $1,425,000 is to be joined by a 25 percent port match of $475,000 in moving forward three projects totaling $1.9 million in investments.
The largest endeavor is the $1 million expansion of Port Manatee’s south security gate facility into a full-service complex with four configurable lanes and capabilities for handling the full spectrum of registered, temporary and visitor transactions.
Meanwhile, a $750,000 undertaking bodes to complete a comprehensive update of portwide security systems, including modernizing computer software and integrating video and access control technologies into a common operating platform
In addition, a $150,000 project aims to upgrade Port Manatee’s emergency alarm system.
All projects backed by fiscal 2019 port grants must be completed within three years.
Port Manatee is currently finishing projects supported by prior federal grants totaling nearly $1.7 million. Those efforts include expansion of the port’s north security gate complex.
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.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

 

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Port Manatee shatters first-half cargo records

Date posted: 04/18/2019

Specialized juice-carrying containers join other cargo containers and trailers at a busy dockside yard at Port Manatee, which has set numerous records in the first half of its fiscal year.

PALMETTO, Fla. – Port Manatee has enjoyed the busiest first fiscal half in its nearly 50-year history, shattering several key cargo records for the six-month period ended March 31.
The Central-Southwest Florida Gulf Coast port has achieved new first-half highs for total tonnage throughput and containerized and bulk cargo activity, according to figures released today [Thursday, April 18] at the regular monthly meeting of the Manatee County Port Authority.
“The sustained vibrant growth of Port Manatee underscores the success of our diverse strategy to boost cargo activity while supporting even more family-wage jobs and further economic gains throughout our region,” said Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority. “As we approach 2020 and the 50-year anniversary of Port Manatee operations, we are clearly on course for continuing record productivity and prosperity.”
Record accomplishments of Port Manatee in its first fiscal half, ended March 31, compared with the first six months of fiscal 2018, include:

  • Total short tons, up 14 percent, to 5,132,864;
  •  Containerized cargo, as measured by 20-foot-equivalents units, or TEUs, up 34 percent, to 25,242;
  •  Containerized cargo tons, up 36 percent, to 262,143;
  •  Dry bulk cargo tons, up 32 percent, to 1,216,090; and
  • Liquid bulk cargo tons, up 11 percent, to 3,400,539.

Much of the gain in containerized cargo activity is attributable to a more-than-doubling of juice volumes coming into the port in specially fitted container units, imported via Mexico services of Port Manatee-based World Direct Shipping. Also contributing significantly to container volumes is longtime tenant Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc.
On the dry bulk front, volumes of fly ash, salt and cement moving across Port Manatee docks all more than doubled from the year-earlier figures, while liquid bulk gains were propelled by increases in gasoline, bunker fuels, diesel and ethanol, as well as not-from-concentrate juices.
“The broad spectrum of burgeoning activity bears testament to the prolific diversity of Port Manatee’s solid cargo base,” said Port Manatee’s executive director, Carlos Buqueras. “We look forward, in concert with our tenants and users, to enduring successes for years to come.”
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.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager
Office 941-722-6621
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

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Lindecamp joins Port Manatee in deputy director role

Date posted: 03/19/2019

Abby Lindecamp is Port Manatee’s newly appointed deputy director of business administration and finance.

PALMETTO, Florida – Abby Lindecamp, who has held accounting positions in Florida’s Manatee County for nearly two decades, has joined Port Manatee in the newly created position of deputy director of business administration and finance.
Lindecamp comes to Port Manatee from Manatee County’s Financial Management Department, in which she served since January 2018 as senior budget manager. She joined Manatee County government in 2000 as an accountant in the office of the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court, following three years in accounting positions with the Florida Department of Corrections in Tampa.
“Abby’s familiarity with Port Manatee from preparing financial reports for the Manatee County Port Authority in addition to comprehensive reports encompassing the entire county government has ideally readied her for this new position,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director. “She is already enthusiastically working alongside Denise Stufflebeam, the port’s senior director of business administration and finance, who has been with the port since 1991.”
Manatee County Port Authority Chairwoman Vanessa Baugh commented, “With diverse activity reaching record levels at Port Manatee, we are pleased to augment the port’s lean management team with a highly qualified professional who possesses intimate knowledge of the port’s financial matters.”
Lindecamp earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Florida Metropolitan University in Tampa following receiving an associate’s degree in business technology from Hopkinsville (Kentucky) Community College.
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 direct and indirect jobs, without levying ad-valorem taxes.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

 

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Port Manatee trade hub opens offices in Latin America, Europe

Date posted: 02/19/2019

Left: Carolina López is the newly appointed representative in the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee’s promotional office in Colombia
Right: Peter Casanova serves as representative in the Spain promotional office of the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee.

 

PALMETTO, Florida – The International Trade Hub at Port Manatee is bolstering its efforts to facilitate productive links for global commerce with the opening of promotional offices in Latin America and Europe.

“The opening of these two offices is a momentous step in connecting world markets and the dynamic business community of greater Manatee County and Southwest Florida,” said Iván Mutis, coordinator of the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee since its inception in 2014. “The Latin American and European office presences perfectly complement the successful initiatives the trade hub has been advancing over the past five years.”

The Latin American office, in Medellín, Colombia, is led by representative Carolina López, chief executive officer of Manatee Operator Consulting Group, while the European location, in Barcelona, Spain, is spearheaded by representative Peter Casanova, economist, partner and chief financial officer with Brosa Abagados y Economistas.

“The offices provide soft landing platforms in major global markets for leaders of businesses of Manatee County and all of Southwest Florida exploring opportunities in Latin America and Europe, respectively,” said Carlos Buqueras, executive director of Port Manatee. “We already are making plans to further expand the global office presence of the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee.”

The Latin American and Caribbean region represents more than 55 percent of Florida’s overall foreign trade, while Europe accounts for nearly 17 percent of such activity, according to Enterprise Florida.

The trade hub, based at the Port Manatee Intermodal Center, serves as an invaluable catalyst for introducing global companies to the business-friendly environment of greater Manatee County and Southwest Florida while helping the region’s entrepreneurs make the most of beneficial connections worldwide. The hub has conducted expo-style showcases throughout Florida and has 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.

“The proactive efforts of the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee, including through foreign offices, furnish advantageous opportunities for expanding the already impressive socioeconomic contributions of Port Manatee throughout our region,” said Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority.

The International Trade Hub at Port Manatee, founded in 2014, serves as a vital link between markets in Florida and throughout the world. The hub provides expert advice and support tools to local and global firms, assisting them with production, distribution and related activities, including development of innovative supply chain solutions.

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.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager, Port Manatee
Office 941-721-2323, Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

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Port Manatee receives first Carver Maritime shipment

Date posted: 02/08/2019

The Osprey I, carrying 47,650 metric tons of materials to be used in cement manufacturing, arrives from Europe at Port Manatee on Wednesday [Feb. 6], marking the first shipment to the renovated facilities of terminal operator Carver Maritime Manatee LLC.

Video Link: https://youtu.be/K2eIRj0Hlok

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee has received its first shipment for its newest terminal operator, Carver Maritime Manatee LLC, with arrival Wednesday [Feb. 6] of a ship bringing nearly 50,000 tons of raw material to be used in Florida cement manufacturing.
Officials of Carver and Port Manatee shared enthusiasm and indicated additional shipments to the 47,650 metric tons of the bulk material brought from Europe on the Osprey I should soon be arriving at the Central-Southwest Florida Gulf Coast port.
“Our first experience at Port Manatee has been nothing but an absolute pleasure,” said Stephen Kelly, Carver’s senior vice president of sales and business development. “The people of Port Manatee have been extremely supportive, informative and cooperative. Carver Maritime Manatee is looking forward to bringing more such shipments into Port Manatee in the near future.”
Since entering last August into an agreement with Port Manatee that could extend for as many as 20 years, Carver has extensively renovated a 10-acre cargo facility with deepwater access, including rehabilitating a 1,400-foot-long conveyor system on the leased site.
The Port Manatee facility is the third maritime endeavor for Carver Companies, which was founded in 1989. The first, the Port of Coeymans, is a 400-acre privately owned and operated maritime industrial complex, opened in 2007 on the Hudson River, 10 miles south of Albany, New York, which has handled such cargos as the steel beams used in reconstruction of the Tappan Zee Bridge. The second was established in 2016 on a former naval base property in North Charleston, South Carolina, and now encompasses 40 acres of industrial laydown and warehousing.
“We are delighted to have Carver as an active participant in the expansion of our port,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director. “Carver’s operations are a perfect complement to the increasingly diverse activity taking place at Manatee County’s seaport.”
Manatee County Port Authority Chairwoman Vanessa Baugh noted Carver’s bringing of heightened commerce and dozens of family-wage jobs to the port, commenting, “We are pleased to see Carver’s operation get into gear and look forward to many more shipments, which will generate further positive socioeconomic impacts for our community.”
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.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager, Port Manatee
Office 941-721-2323, Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

Matthew Lazzari
General Manager, Carver Companies
Office 518-355-6034, Cell 518-881-7994
mlazzari@carvercompanies.com

 

Carver Maritime Manatee LLC’s 10-acre Port Manatee terminal offers deepwater access and features a rehabilitated 1,400-foot-long conveyor system.

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Manatee County Port Authority re-elects Baugh as chairwoman, welcomes two new commissioners

Date posted: 12/20/2018

Vanessa Baugh has been re-elected chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority.

 

PALMETTO, Florida – Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh has been elected to a third consecutive one-year term as chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority, the governing board of Port Manatee, which has welcomed as its two newest members Reggie Bellamy and Misty Servia.

Baugh, who has served on the port board since 2012, had her re-election to the chair position affirmed at the Dec. 20 meeting of the Manatee County Port Authority following her selection at the Dec. 18 meeting of the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners.

Also affirmed at the Dec. 20 meeting to serve one-year officer terms were Priscilla Whisenant Trace, first vice chairwoman; Bellamy, second vice chairman; and Betsy Benac, third vice chairwoman. Port Manatee’s governing board is completed by Stephen R. Jonsson, Servia and Carol Whitmore.

Bellamy and Servia have become members of the port board following November election to the Manatee County Commission.

The authority board consists of the seven members of the elected Manatee County Commission, but with distinctively separate officers and financial accountability. The authority sets policy and oversees major expenditures for Port Manatee.Members of the port authority board serve four-year staggered terms, with an annual election of officers.

The authority meets on the third Thursday of each month at 9 a.m. at the Port Manatee Intermodal Center, 1905 Intermodal Circle, Palmetto. The meetings are open to the public.

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 direct and indirect jobs, without levying ad-valorem taxes.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

 

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Port Manatee enjoys record fiscal year with diverse growth

Date posted: 10/16/2018

One of Port Manatee’s fastest-growing commodities – lumber – is offloaded from a vessel at the Southwest Florida port, which continues to handle record cargo volumes.

 

PALMETTO, Fla. – Port Manatee continues to break cargo records, including handling an all-time-high of more than 9.3 million tons in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, up 19.1 percent from the immediately preceding 12-month period. That comes on the heels of a 13.4 percent tonnage rise in fiscal 2017 from fiscal 2016.

Across-the-board increases were enjoyed by the diverse Southwest Florida port in the just-ended fiscal year, besting numerous prior records, according to figures reported today [Tuesday, Oct. 16].
Due largely to a more-than-tripling of phosphate rock handled, Port Manatee saw its dry bulk tonnage surge 48.5 percent for the fiscal year, reaching a record 1,970,340, while liquid bulk, the port’s largest sector, saw an 11.4 percent boost, to a record 6,207,219 tons, thanks to big gains in throughputs of gasoline and bunker fuels. Breakbulk activity for the year also established a new high point, up 9.8 percent, to 602,914 tons, propelled by a gain of 128.8 percent in wood pulp and a nearly 50 percent increase in lumber tons.

Containerized cargo tons were up as well, hitting a new pinnacle of 385,247, a 6.1 percent rise over fiscal 2017. Loaded container volume rose 2.4 percent, to 30,419 twenty-foot-equivalent units.
“The record activity across all cargo sectors bears testament to the success of the diversified strategy we are implementing at Port Manatee and further adds to the impressive contributions the port makes to our region’s prosperity,” said Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority.

Port Manatee’s executive director, Carlos Buqueras, noted that the port’s fiscal 2018 activity included throughput of nearly 422 million gallons of gasoline, as well as 73 million gallons of fruit juices and 413,060 tons of fruits and vegetables, including bananas and pineapples shipped throughout the U.S. Southeast.

“Port Manatee continues to play an increasingly integral role in supplying gas to stations in Southwest Florida and in filling the refrigerators of people throughout a still-broader region,” Buqueras said. “We are delighted to build upon our trend of growing the full spectrum of cargo volumes and see the positive impact Port Manatee is having as a key cog not only in global supply chains but, moreover, in the socioeconomic wellbeing of the region we are privileged to serve.”

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.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

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Port Manatee garners federal security grant to enhance access control

Date posted: 08/29/2018

Port Manatee’s north gate is being expanded thanks to a fiscal 2017 Port Security Grant Program award, while a fiscal 2018 grant is destined for access control system enhancements.

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee has been awarded a $326,456 federal security grant, enabling the Central Florida Gulf Coast port to enhance its access control system.

“Port Manatee is highly appreciative of this latest funding, as well as previous federal grants that are facilitating leading-edge security at our dynamic seaport,” Port Manatee Executive Director Carlos Buqueras said today, following notification of the most recent award.

The latest funding, through the fiscal 2018 Port Security Grant Program of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency, is to be matched by the port with a 25 percent cost share of about $108,000 to advance modernization of Port Manatee’s access control system. When Port Manatee activated its original Transportation Worker Identification Credential-based system in 2012, it was among the first U.S. ports to have such a TWIC-based system in operation.

Port Manatee and its users also look to benefit from another fiscal 2018 Port Security Grant Program award, that being a $180,414 grant to the North River Fire District, to be used toward acquisition of a response boat with firefighting capabilities.

“As cargo volumes continue to swell at Port Manatee, it becomes increasingly essential for safety and security demands to be fulfilled,” said Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority. “We are very grateful that our significant advances on this vital front will continue thanks to this most recent grant.”

Currently, a $946,950 federal security grant awarded in fiscal 2017 is being joined by a 25 percent port match in expanding Port Manatee’s north gate, including doubling the number of exit lanes to four. Prior competitive federal security grants totaling nearly $400,000, awarded in fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2016, have enabled Port Manatee’s bolstering of resiliency and recovery through emergency power generation capabilities at the port’s primary operational building, acquisition of a specially equipped response vehicle and installation of security-related software upgrades.

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.
destined for access control system enhancements.

Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

 

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Port Manatee trade hub opens doors with three-city tour

Date posted: 08/27/2018

At the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee’s business development tour Aug. 23 event in Bradenton, Janna Strusberg Perdoma serves Café Mia beverages from Colombia while representatives of another Colombian company offer traditional arepa pastries.

PALMETTO, Florida – The International Trade Hub at Port Manatee’s three-city business development tour has proven so successful that future similar events already are being planned.

“Local and global entrepreneurs alike have been energized by this dynamic series of connective events and the vast opportunities for expanding international trade horizons,” Port Manatee Executive Director Carlos Buqueras said following the five days of functions, which included expo-style showcases Aug. 21 in Fort Lauderdale, Aug. 22 in North Port and Aug. 23 in Bradenton, as well as Aug. 24-25 visits to farmers markets, food stores and college campus sites in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Manatee County Port Authority Chairwoman Vanessa Baugh, who opened the Aug. 23 showcase held at the Connect Bradenton workspace, said officials of the port and its trade hub are continuing their work to assist participating companies in capitalizing upon the hundreds of commercial connections established during the multiple business-to-business events.

“We are enthusiastically supportive of the initiatives of the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee as an invaluable catalyst for introducing companies from throughout the world to the business-friendly environment of greater Manatee County and Southwest Florida and in helping our region’s entrepreneurs make the most of productive global links,” Baugh said.

Participants in the tour ranged from Colombia-based sellers of gourmet coffees and arepas – iconic beverages and pastries of northwestern South America – to a Palmetto, Florida-based firm looking to import tropical fruit products.
The August outreach events build upon momentum gained through numerous visits to Port Manatee by high-level government and trade officials of such diverse nations as Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Poland and Spain.

The International Trade Hub at Port Manatee, founded in 2014, serves as a vital link between markets in Florida and throughout the world. The hub provides expert advice and support tools to local and global firms, assisting them with production, distribution and related activities, including development of innovative supply chain solutions.

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.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager, Port Manatee
Office 941-721-2323, Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

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Port Manatee, Carver Maritime ink long-term terminal agreement

Date posted: 08/16/2018

Embarking upon its third U.S. maritime endeavor at Port Manatee, Carver Companies successfully operates a number of industrial facilities, including its privately owned Port of Coeymans (pictured) on the Hudson River in upstate New York.

 

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee and Carver Maritime LLC have entered a long-term marine terminal operating agreement for a 10-acre aggregate offloading facility at the Florida Gulf Coast port.

The agreement, for as many as 20 years including options, was approved today [Thursday, Aug. 16] by the Manatee County Port Authority and ensures property lease payments totaling $1.8 million for the initial five-year term, in addition to wharfage payments for annual cargo throughputs.

“We, along with our customers, are excited about this opportunity, and very much look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Port Manatee, as well as its tenants,” said Carver Laraway, president of Altamont, New York-based parent firm Carver Companies. “The projected growth of Central Florida and the business-friendly environment of Manatee County make us eager to call it home.”

With its 1,400-foot-long conveyor system, truck loading facilities and deep-water access, the Port Manatee site, formerly occupied by Vulcan Materials Co., falls directly in line with Carver’s core capabilities of aggregate supply, heavy construction and maritime operations, Laraway said, adding, “It will provide a solid foundation for the company to enter a new, vibrant market to service its customer base and grow alongside other businesses in Manatee County.”

The Port Manatee facility will be the third maritime endeavor for Carver Companies, which was founded in 1989. The first, the Port of Coeymans, a 400-acre privately owned and operated maritime industrial complex, opened in 2007 on the Hudson River, 10 miles south of Albany, New York. The second was established in 2016 on a former naval base property in North Charleston, South Carolina, and now encompasses 40 acres of industrial laydown and warehousing.

“Carver provides a perfect addition to the diverse family of operations at Port Manatee,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director, who noted that it joins Kinder Morgan, Federal Marine Terminals, Logistec and Logistec Gulf Coast among the ranks of Port Manatee marine terminal operators and stevedores.

Manatee County Port Authority Chairwoman Vanessa Baugh, citing Carver’s projected creation of 30 jobs over the next three years, as well as expected generation of heightened commerce, commented, “We are delighted to welcome the Carver operation and the favorable economic impacts it will bring to our port and region.”

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.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager, Port Manatee
Office 941-721-2323, Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

Matthew Lazzari
General Manager, Carver Companies
Office 518-355-6034, Cell 518-881-7994
mlazzari@carvercompanies.com

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Port Manatee, Argentina building on leading trade partnership

Date posted: 05/31/2018

Martín de Antueno, deputy consul of Argentina, discusses trade opportunities with Port Manatee Executive Director Carlos Buqueras, who places his hand on a piece of aluminum imported into Port Manatee from Argentina.

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee is actively enhancing its relationship with Argentina, its No. 1 source of imports, as an Argentine diplomat sees fortifying the U.S. Gulf Coast port’s role in linking Latin America’s second-most-populous nation with burgeoning Central and Southwest Florida markets.

“We are looking to strengthen our trade relationship with Port Manatee, further benefiting from its favorable gateway position in Central Florida,” Martín de Antueno, deputy consul of Argentina, said today [Thursday, May 31] as he led a morning-long seminar at the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee.

“As Argentina has opened its foreign trade policy over the past 2 1/2 years, we are now entering the world, and the world is welcoming us,” said de Antueno, who, following the trade seminar, was hosted at a downtown Bradenton luncheon with sponsors including Manatee County and Manatee Chamber of Commerce. “We truly appreciate the welcome we are getting at Port Manatee.”
Imports into Port Manatee from Argentina totaled $675 million in value during the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2017, making the South American country of 45 million people Port Manatee’s top supplier of inbound cargo.

Noting that aluminum and biodiesel fuels are among commodities shipped to Port Manatee from Argentina, Miami-based de Antueno said Florida receives about one-third of all of Argentina’s imports into the United States, while significant opportunities remain not only for growing such northbound volumes but also for increasing exports from Florida to Argentina. In years past, Port Manatee exports to Argentina have included fertilizers.

“We look forward to working with interests from Argentina in building upon our two-way trade,” said Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority. “We believe we offer unique opportunities for connecting the world with a region of more than 10 million residents and which hosts some 80 million visitors a year. As we increase these productive commercial ties, we augment Port Manatee’s already impressive positive impacts upon our region’s socioeconomic wellbeing.”

Port Manatee’s executive director, Carlos Buqueras, commented, “Through the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee, we continue to proactively engage leaders of commerce from around the globe, together realizing the mutual benefits of expanded trade.”

Over the past several months, Port Manatee and its trade hub also have hosted high-level representatives of such diverse nations as Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Poland and Spain.

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.

 

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Port Manatee treats truckers to free lunch, giveaways

Date posted: 04/30/2018

Members of Port Manatee’s operations and maintenance team prepare hamburgers and hot dogs at Port Manatee’s third annual Trucker Appreciation Day free lunch event.

PALMETTO, Florida – Yes, there is such a thing as a free lunch, as hundreds of professional truck drivers happily learned Friday [April 27] as Port Manatee hosted its third annual Trucker Appreciation Day.

“I had a really nice lunch,” said Andrew Smith, a driver for Fort Myers-based Lee County Fuels Inc. “I come to Port Manatee every day and load my tanker with fuel to deliver to Circle K and other stores throughout the state, so it’s great to be treated to a free lunch right here where all us drivers come through.”
Smith, who has been driving a truck his entire professional career, was among more than 200 truckers who enjoyed hamburgers, hot dogs and numerous sponsor giveaways in the parking lot of the Florida Gulf Coast port’s access control center.

“Port Manatee and our event partners are proud to recognize the dedication of the professional drivers who serve our port each day,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director, who was one of scores of port staffers and sponsor representatives helping out at the event.

Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority, commented, “We are pleased to do anything we can to acknowledge the hard work of the drivers who form a vital link in the safe and timely delivery of the diverse cargos flowing through Port Manatee.”

Giveaways, in addition to the picnic-style lunches, included flashlights, pens, hats, calendars and cookies doled out at tents sponsored by Federal Marine Terminals Inc., Trans-Phos Inc., Arrow Terminals Inc., World Direct Shipping, Indian River Transport, TransMontaigne Partners LP and Manatee Truck & Trailer Wash LLC.

At the Port Manatee tent, Trucker Appreciation Day T-shirts were distributed by port staffers, while Bibles were among items given away by the not-for-profit Anchor House Mission’s year-round Trucker Ministry. Florida Department of Transportation representatives were at the tent as well.

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.

 

Professional drivers grab free lunches at Port Manatee’s third annual Trucker Appreciation Day event.

Truck driver Andrew Smith picks up a free Trucker Appreciation Day T-shirt as Michele Brennan, Port Manatee team assistant for trade development and marketing, looks on.

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Port Manatee considered as Poland’s Gateway to Americas

Date posted: 04/20/2018

Leszek Ladowski, president of the Polish-American Chamber of Commerce of Florida and the Americas, right, discusses trade opportunities with Port Manatee Executive Director Carlos Buqueras.

 

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee is being looked at as a gateway linking Poland and all of Central and Eastern Europe with the entire Western Hemisphere following a visit Thursday [April 19] to the Florida Gulf Coast port by the president of the Polish-American Chamber of Commerce of Florida and the Americas.

“We can establish a bridge,” said Leszek Ladowski, president of the Miami-based Polish trade organization. “It’s not just about the 21 million people who live in Florida. It’s about all the connections in Latin America and throughout the Americas.

“Port Manatee has a great location to be the gateway,” Ladowski said. “The opportunity is there. How big it becomes is up to us.”

Ladowski, who lived in Latin America for 14 years, said Poland, as the leading free-market economy of the 12-country Central and Eastern Europe region, has been increasing its trade with the United States at an annual pace of more than 20 percent and is eager to pursue solid commercial links throughout the Americas.

Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority, said she shares the enthusiasm, commenting, “Serving as a channel for commerce is at the heart of the mission of Port Manatee, and we are encouraged by the potential the port holds as an important tie between Central and Eastern Europe and the Americas, benefitting interests throughout the world while boosting contributions to our region’s socioeconomic wellbeing as well.”

Port Manatee’s executive director, Carlos Buqueras, said, “Port Manatee continues to attract the interest of leaders of commerce around the globe, with the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee leading the way in realizing our vast potential to offer and capitalize upon mutually beneficial opportunities.”

In the past several months, Port Manatee and its trade hub have also hosted high-level officials representing such nations as Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Peru and Spain.

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.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

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Port Manatee achieves record first half, on pace to shatter full-year marks

Date posted: 04/17/2018

A Del Monte vessel arrives at Port Manatee, which has achieved several cargo records in the first half of its fiscal year.

 

PALMETTO, Fla. – Port Manatee has achieved numerous cargo records in the first half of its current fiscal year and is on pace to shatter several full-year marks.

The Central Florida Gulf port has established new first-half highs for total tonnage throughput and a host of cargo sectors, according to figures released today [Tuesday, April 17].

“Port Manatee’s continuing dynamic growth is a testament to the enduring success of our port, in collaboration with our tenants and users, as a critical link in multiple supply chains and as a vibrant producer of well-paying jobs and other significant positive impacts upon our region,” said Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority.

Achievements of Port Manatee in its first fiscal half, ended March 31, compared with the first six months of fiscal 2017, include:
 Total short tons up 18.2 percent, to 4,495,733;
 Containerized cargo as measured by 20-foot-equivalents units, or TEUs, up 12.6 percent, to 18,894;
 Containerized cargo tons, up 12.2 percent, to 192,679;
 Dry bulk cargo tons, up 54.6 percent, to 924,675;
 Breakbulk cargo tons, up 24.2 percent, to 311,940; and
 Liquid bulk cargo tons, up 10.2 percent, to 3,066,462.

Port Manatee’s executive director, Carlos Buqueras, attributed containerized cargo growth to expansion of World Direct Shipping’s Mexico services and Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc.’s ongoing transition to containers from breakbulk shipping, while the dry bulk surge was due to strong volumes of such commodities as phosphate rock, granite and sulphur. Rises in forest product volumes helped propel breakbulk gains, and increases in handling of gasoline, bunker fuels and citrus concentrates were key factors in the liquid bulk escalation.

“The diverse growth strategy we are advancing at Port Manatee is facilitating burgeoning commerce on all fronts,” Buqueras said. “All signs point to Port Manatee’s achievement of a number of full-year records for fiscal 2018, which ends Sept. 30.”

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.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

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City of North Port, Port Manatee trade hub host Chilean official, seek to boost commercial ties

Date posted: 03/29/2018

Discussing trade opportunities at a North Port symposium are, from left: Chilean Trade Commissioner Sacha Garafulic; Ivan Mutis, coordinator of the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee; North Port Vice Mayor Linda Yates; and Port Manatee Executive Director Carlos Buqueras.

 

NORTH PORT, Florida – The City of North Port and the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee are teaming with Chile’s trade commissioner in efforts to expand commercial links.

“We look forward to realizing vast untapped potential for enhanced ties with both North Port and Port Manatee,” Sacha Garafulic, Chile’s Miami-based trade commissioner, said Wednesday [March 28] as he took part in a symposium and luncheon at North Port’s Shannon Staub Library.

North Port Vice Mayor Linda Yates commented Wednesday, “Today is a very good day for the City of North Port as we host the trade commissioner of one of South America’s most stable and prosperous nations, the country of Chile.

“We welcome Mr. Garafulic and appreciate his generous gesture to visit our growing and dynamic city located on Florida’s Gulf Coast between Tampa and Fort Myers,” Yates continued. “His visit signifies a new dimension of business opportunities for the North Port metropolitan area.”

Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority, governing board of Port Manatee, which is 55 miles northwest of North Port along Interstate 75, said she sees the trade symposium as a key step in fortifying the relationship between Port Manatee and the largest city in Sarasota County, as well as pursuit of mutually beneficial commerce.

“The International Trade Hub at Port Manatee’s objective is to seek out new international markets and trade opportunities for all of Southwest Florida,” Baugh said. “We are encouraged by the business opportunities presented, and we look forward to working closely with the City of North Port and Chile on further expanding our ties.”

Since opening in 2014, the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee has played a vital role in expanding global connections for the port and Southwest Florida’s businesses. In recent months, the hub has been visited by officials from more than a dozen nations, including Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Peru and Spain.

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.

Billed as “the City Where You Can Achieve Anything,” North Port is home to more than 67,000 residents and spans more than 104 square miles. Undeveloped natural land and a population with a youthful mindset are hallmarks of North Port, which is one of the fastest-growing cities of Florida. North Port is ranked by MoneyRates as the No. 1 U.S. city for young entrepreneurs, by Milken Institute as the nation’s sixth-best-performing large city and by Southern Business and Development as best in manufacturing in Tampa Bay.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Virginia Zimmermann, Port Manatee
941-721-2323
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com
Ruth Buchanan, City of North Port
941-429-7029
rbuchanan@cityofnorthport.com

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Port Manatee draws German consul general’s interest

Date posted: 03/16/2018

Annette Klein, Germany’s Miami-based consul general, center, is recognized by Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority, left, and Port Manatee Executive Director Carlos Buqueras.

 

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee holds promise as a trade gateway for German companies, according to Germany’s Miami-based consul general, who visited the Florida Gulf Coast port Thursday [March 15].

“Port Manatee is an important part of Florida infrastructure,” said Annette Klein, Germany’s consul general for Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “As German companies look for a U.S. port to meet their needs, it is important for us to be aware of such ports and their capabilities and objectives.

“Port Manatee has impressed me with the potential it holds,” Klein said following a presentation at the Manatee County Port Authority’s monthly board meeting and a visit to the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee.

German trade through Port Manatee has been limited, consisting primarily of imports of bulk materials used in the making of concrete at Florida operations, but Port Manatee officials are hopeful the commercial relationship will expand.

“By growing trade with Germany, Port Manatee can further build upon its impressive impacts upon our region’s economy,” said Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority. “We look forward to exploration of mutually beneficial opportunities.”

Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director, commented, “As Port Manatee continues its diverse growth, it is vital that we develop and nurture relationships with officials of countries and companies throughout the world. We are particularly appreciative of the visit from Germany’s consul general, which we hope is just the beginning of a longstanding valued relationship.”

The International Trade Hub at Port Manatee is in its fifth year of furnishing an essential link between foreign interests and Central and Southwest Florida markets that combine to put nearly 10 million consumers within a two-hour drive of Port Manatee while attracting some 100 million annual visitors.

In the past year, Port Manatee and its trade hub have hosted high-level officials from more than a dozen nations, including Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Peru and Spain.

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.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

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New Port Manatee tenant fueling marine industry in Tampa Bay

Date posted: 03/01/2018

A World Fuel Services barge berths at Port Manatee as part of new fuel hub operations serving cargo and cruise vessels throughout Tampa Bay

 

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee is the new marine fuel supply hub for Tampa Bay, with initiation of operations of Miami-based World Fuel Services.

“During such a significant time of growth for Port Manatee, we are highly enthusiastic about this new partnership with the world’s leading bunker supplier,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director. “We are confident that World Fuel Services’ successful operations will prove to be a perfect addition to Port Manatee’s steadily growing diverse marine portfolio.”

World Fuel Services, which sells fuel in more than 200 nations and territories throughout the globe, has established its latest storage and supply operation for fuel oil and marine diesel at Port Manatee following a rigorous selection process.

“World Fuel Services continues to invest in selective physical supply locations,” said Joe Gowen, senior vice president for global marine supply at WFS. “When selecting locations for WFS, we carry out an intense risk assessment, ensuring we are able to deliver the highest standards of service.

“Valued relationships and collaboration are key,” Gowen added, “and we will continue to invest where we can work with port authorities, first-class barge companies and our customers.”

WFS looks to meet fuel bunkering needs for cruise and cargo vessels throughout Tampa Bay by means of two dual-capacity tug-and-barge units, in partnership with The Vane Brothers Co., a Baltimore-based firm that has served the marine industry since 1898.

Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority, commented, “The WFS operation means a further increase in liquid bulk cargo for Port Manatee, which translates into greater revenue for the port while adding to jobs and other favorable economic impacts for our community.”

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.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

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Port Manatee encouraged by meeting with global trade commissioners

Date posted: 02/23/2018

Those gathered Feb. 22 at the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee include, from left:
Alejandra Zelaya, vice consul of Honduras; Juan C. Barrera, deputy director for the United States of ProColombia USA; María Jesús de Gonzalo Gámir, trade commissioner of Spain; Carlos Buqueras, executive director, Port Manatee; Lucia Aguilar Puga, deputy trade and investment commissioner, ProMexico; Ivan Mutis, coordinator, International Trade Hub at Port Manatee; Mily Sega, trade commissioner of Peru; Dunia Miranda-Mauri, trade commissioner of Guatemala; Elaine Brouca, trade commissioner of Canada; and (rear) Sacha Garafulic, director, ProChile Miami.

 

PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee officials are encouraged about expansion of international commerce following a joint meeting with trade commissioners from eight countries.

“This is the first time we’ve had so many trade commissioners assembled at one location,” Carlos Buqueras, executive director of Port Manatee, said of the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee’s hosting Thursday [Feb. 22] of representatives from Canada, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and Spain. The nations constitute the majority of board membership of the International Trade Commissioners of Florida (INTRADE).

“This unique gathering further places Port Manatee and Manatee County on the radar screen of companies seeking to pursue investment and trade opportunities in Florida,” Buqueras added.

Juan C. Barrera, deputy director for the United States of ProColombia USA and president of INTRADE, commented, “Port Manatee already plays an important role in handling Colombian imports and exports, as well as substantial trade with other INTRADE country members, and clearly offers prospects for significant additional international commerce.”

Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority, said, “We are honored to host this influential group. Expanding commercial ties with these countries will help strengthen Port Manatee’s position as a vital economic engine for Manatee County while connecting global interests with the fast-growing consumer base of Central and Southwest Florida.”

Since opening in 2014, the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee has been integral in expanding global connections for the port and Manatee County enterprises. In recent months, the hub has been individually visited by business leaders and trade officials of numerous countries.

Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico,” Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanding 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.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

 

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