Executive director credits the Florida port’s “prolific diversity” of its cargo base for year-over-year growth.
Florida’s Port Manatee had its busiest first fiscal half in its history with record highs for total tonnage throughput and containerized and bulk cargo activity, according to a statement citing numbers released Thursday during a monthly Manatee County Port Authority meeting.
The port’s containerized cargo volumes grew by 34 percent to 25,242 TEUs and its containerized cargo tons increased 36 percent to 262,143 through March 31. Much of the containerized gain is attributable to the more than doubling of juice volumes in specially fitted containers imported via Mexico services of the Port Manatee-based World Direct Shipping. Longtime tenant Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc. also contributed to the containerized volume growth, the port said.
Dry bulk cargo tons improved 32 percent over the first fiscal half of 2018 to 1.22 million and liquid bulk cargo tons increased 11 percent to 3.4 million. Volumes of fly ash, salt and cement all more than doubled from the previous year, and liquid bulk gains were attributed to increases in gasoline, bunker fuels, diesel and ethanol, and not-from-concentrate juices, according to the port.
Total short tons also increased by 13 percent to 5.13 million.
“The broad spectrum of burgeoning activity bears testament to the prolific diversity of Port Manatee’s solid cargo base,” said Carlos Bugueras, executive director, in a statement. “We look forward, in concert with our tenants and users, to enduring successes for years to come.”