Port Tampa Bay has emerged as Florida’s preferred new supply chain solution for containerized cargo. The incorporation of direct Asia container services and new connections to Mexico and Central America have significantly enhanced the port’s role in serving the state’s largest and fastest-growing market—the Tampa Bay/Orlando 1-4 Corridor, Florida’s distribution hub.
The Central Florida region has boomed into one of the hottest industrial real estate markets in the country, becoming the state’s hub for distribution, logistics and manufacturing. As the “front door to the I-4,” Port Tampa Bay is well situated to help businesses capitalize on the growth of the region, which is driving demand for retail, e-commerce, food & beverage, energy products and construction & building materials.
New tenant Celadon will soon break ground on a paper fiber manufacturing plant that aims to generate up to 80,000 TEUs/year for export to Asia. The port recently expanded terminal capacity with additional paved storage and extended berths to keep pace with continued growth. Part of the expansion includes additional cranes and equipment, and new trans-load warehouse facilities.
The Port recently welcomed CMA CGM, COSCO, Evergreen, OOCL, Maersk and Sealand to their family of container lines offering an array of new services, joining established carrier partners ZIM, MSC and Seatrade.
Expanded connections serving trade with Mexico offer more efficient supply chain solutions versus the traditional costly and congested overland routes. Work Cat recently began offering a weekly Brownsville Texas-Port Tampa Bay container-on-barge services using 53-foot containers, which is especially attractive for customers used to receiving deliveries by truck from Monterrey and Northern Mexico. ZIM recently launched a weekly Altamira-Port Tampa Bay service, the Mexico Tampa Shuttle, with Kuehne and Nagel as partners on the new service, promoted as the Blue Marlin Express. Seatrade’s SeacatLine also increased the frequency of its Costa Rica service to weekly.
Importers and exporters in Florida’s distribution hub now enjoy significant savings as truckers make as many as three to four roundtrip deliveries per day from Port Tampa Bay to their distribution centers. Partners such as container terminal operator Ports America and cold storage specialist Port Logistics Refrigerated Services have made it possible for Port Tampa Bay to expand infrastructure and capacity to ensure it is well-positioned for continued growth.