SeaPort Manatee Announces Record First Fiscal Half

SeaPort Manatee reported an increase of more than 32% in containerized cargo tonnage in the six months ended March 31 compared to the comparable fiscal half of the prior year.

In the first six months of its current fiscal year, the Florida Gulf Coast Trade Gateway handled an all-time record 660,847 short tons of containerized cargo while setting a record for 20-foot-equivalent container units. The 85,383 TEUs passing through SeaPort Manatee’s docks represented a 26% increase over the previous year, according to figures released Tuesday, April 19.

New container brands were facilitated by volume growth from the port’s two major container cargo carriers, World Direct Shipping (WDS) based out of SeaPort Manatee and Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. based out of Coral Gables. WDS, in its ninth year of importing products and other goods from Mexico, expanded its service offerings across the Gulf, while the Del Monte unit deployed eco-friendly container ships to bring fruit from Latin America to the Southeast distribution center it has operated at the port for 33 years.

Other records set by SeaPort Manatee in the six-month period ended March 31 include total cargo tonnage of 5,365,359, up 10.4% from a year earlier; non-containerized general cargo tonnage of 351,878, up 34.4%, driven by strong volumes of wood pulp (much of which is used in the manufacture of toilet paper), lumber, plywood and other forest products, as well as recycled aluminum and steel materials; dry bulk tonnage of 1,230,124, up 13%, with big gains in granite and dry phosphate rock movements; and a liquid bulk tonnage of 3,122,510, up 3.8%.

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