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Diversity among seaports is a concept not only understood but exemplified with Port Tampa Bay. Known as Florida’s largest seaport in both acreage and tonnage, with more than 34 million tons of cargo handled annually, Port Tampa Bay demonstrates industry breadth through its cargo diversification, cruise passengers and real estate strategies to keep pace with the central part of the Sunshine State’s blistering growth.

Through its purposeful investment and master planning approach, the management team has made great strides in recent years connecting transportation methods, logistics, warehousing and even manufacturing to support and grow the region’s largest economic engine. As its 2018 fiscal year saw an unprecedented number of major announcements related to growth, Port Tampa Bay is already seeing more growth in fiscal year 2019.

Cargo diversity, real estate and proximity to growth are the major differentiators that have enabled Port Tampa Bay to leverage itself and grow. 

“I found a tremendous convergence of opportunity when I arrived,” said Paul Anderson, Port Tampa Bay’s president and CEO. “I knew I wanted to maintain and expand a diverse portfolio, capitalizing on our land assets and building the infrastructure to serve more customers and Florida’s growth more efficiently.”

As a result, officials understood that Port Tampa Bay’s most valuable position within the market could only be achieved through analyzing industry benchmarks, investing in infrastructure and capitalizing on opportunities by listening to the perspectives of carriers and beneficial cargo owners before implementing strategic initiatives. By gaining a thorough understanding of market conditions on a domestic and international level, Port Tampa Bay has successfully become the largest economic influencer in the Western Florida region, responsible for a more than $17 billion in economic impact while generating more than 85,000 jobs.

Port Tampa Bay’s cargo portfolio includes all major categories, from liquid bulk and dry bulk to containers, automobiles, break-bulk and more. Additionally, the port serves as one of the largest shipbuilding and repair handlers in the Southeast United States. It is also a top 10 cruise homeport, and last year the 1 million mark was surpassed for passengers sailing from Port Tampa Bay.

One of the world’s premier fertilizer export ports continues leading in both the liquid and dry-bulk arenas, thanks to the likes of global exporters Amalie Oil and Mosaic. Through these connections, Port Tampa Bay supports the reach of more than 100 countries and helps to feed the world.

On the break-bulk side, Tampa Tank/Florida Structural Steel helps to anchor several steel fabricators and related businesses, making the port a significant mover in this business segment. Furthermore, the port has developed about 290 acres of land to help continue its efforts handling steel, dry bulk and other commodities. 

Furthering its diversity and strategic master planning approach, the port developed a new on-dock cold storage facility and a dedicated automobile terminal fully equipped to process the anticipated expansion of vehicle production in Mexico and the Southeast.

Looking to the future, Port Tampa Bay has major plans in the works to expand overall capacity and infrastructure from docks and terminals to land tracts and parcels supportive of increased containers and break-bulk cargos. A total of $380 million is projected to support the port’s expansion efforts over the next five years. Through this budgeting and robust development planning, the port projects expanding its container terminal capacity to 160 acres–essentially quadrupling current capacity and attracting new services.

All of this vision, planning and investment has already paid off in a couple of very big ways. COSCO Shipping in December announced Port Tampa Bay’s first direct Asia weekly call service, followed by a second announcement in February by CMA CGM to expand its global container reach. Secondly, in April, Port Tampa Bay completed a major navigational improvement on its Big Bend channel, deepening and widening to accommodate larger ships.

More accomplished was how the project was pulled off: by first assembling a public-private partnership that included five stakeholders and maintaining its cohesiveness for several years. The improved channel can now service the approximately 290 acres of new terminal operations and capacity among port tenants.

Throughout all of Port Tampa Bay’s projects and new business expansion are the common themes of vision, strategic planning, investment and expertise. “That and listening to what our customers need to increase their efficiency and/or speed to market is what it is all about,” Anderson says.

These elements continue to provide Port Tampa Bay with ideas that increase economic impact, import/export efficiencies, and just as importantly, sustainable growth.

Momentum IoT Changes the Pace for Fleet Management Tracking

Momentum IoT separates itself a provider of fleet management solutions by addressing roadblocks commonly experienced by companies operating on a smaller scale. With simplicity and innovation as primary focal points, the company reinvents its approach to solutions by first “breaking” things through methods of revamping, upgrading, and development.

“I like to break things,” says Justin Silva, CEO of Momentum IoT.  “I like looking at how things are done and try to make them better. I grew up around contractors and worked at a field services company, so I understand the challenges of smaller fleet service businesses—the local plumbers, contractors, electricians, and maintenance inspectors.  The big boys all have fancy ways of tracking their equipment and checking the maintenance of their trucks, but these guys don’t. Stolen equipment and misused trucks are more than just a write-off.  They hurt.”

This idea of “breaking” for success started when CEO Justin Silva who ran Information Technology at AppDynamics and reinvented the process of IT systems by utilizing automation. Through this approach, Momentum IoT has earned recognition from industry analysts including “Mobile IoT Innovator” by the Global Telecom Industry Association, the GSMA and receiving top honors at the 2019 CompassIntel Spring Awards for Connected Solution Leadership: Fleet Tracking Management.

“I wanted to create something that was user-friendly, where people could just plug it in and go,” continues Silva. “No one wants to deal with a platform that is cumbersome or requires technical expertise. I also wanted to design a system that was flexible enough not to require customization, and would work well with existing hardware in vehicles and equipment used by smaller field service businesses. So we built it.” 

Momentum Eagle 1 – a recently released tracking software and hardware solution, aims to provide a simplified, cost-effective option to small and medium-sized businesses. As many of its competitors cater to bigger players, Momentum IoT identifies opportunities beyond fancy, complex telematics with heavy costs and offers systems that provide the highest level of security, robust reporting systems, real-time tracking and updates. Additionally, the company is the first Fleet Telematics company to deploy on the advanced LTE Cat-M network.

To further reiterate the company’s position on cost-effective options, it offers customers free demos for their products without an added contract obligation and offers flexible monthly pricing.

“Businesses want superior products at low prices,” furthers Silva.  “Many telematics products on the market are expensive, have an up-front hardware cost, and require a long-term contract, which is a huge pain for small and mid-sized businesses.  My vision is to make it easy to try, with no risk.  So we have no contracts, and let businesses try a device for free.  If they like it, they pay us a low monthly price.”

“My goal is to solve real-world problems with simplicity and innovation–and have a lot of fun in the process.”

Dachser USA Boasts 56 percent Female Representation

Holding true to its culture of “openness and respect,” gender diversity serves as a major differentiator in company culture at leading global logistics company Dachser USA, as women represent a substantial 56 percent of the company’s workforce.

This percentage is unusual as the majority of companies in supply chain and logistics industries are represented by males. Statistics released in a Gartner study revealed women only make up about 37-38 percent of organizations in these industries. Companies such as Dachser USA are bringing more diversity to these industries by shifting gender statistics and placing more women in male-dominated positions.

“As a family-owned business, Dachser has developed a culture that embraces diversity, also in terms of gender, and appreciates the value both women and men bring to the organization,” said Vincent Touya, Managing Director Dachser USA. “We know that embracing and fostering gender diversity enhances collaboration, tolerance and understanding, as well as increased productivity, which improves the bottom line.”

Dachser values employees at the talent level, providing an opportunity to all qualified candidates beyond their gender, ultimately shifting common gender trends and reinventing demographics in the talent pool.

The family-owned company isn’t the only one showing a shift in genders, however. A recent survey from SCM World revealed that females represent 37 percent of students enrolling in supply chain and logistics courses at global universities. As more programs and companies adopt a cultural that values diversity, these statistics will continue to inevitably rise and add more qualified candidates to bridge the talent gap.

“Creating a company culture that recognizes talent and identifies the right person for the job—regardless of age or gender—is central to our core values to develop the best possible team,” said Touya. “The female professionals at Dachser USA, which make up more than half of our workforce, bring the right mix of knowledge of the industry, passion for their career and a collaborative attitude.”