Port Manatee-based World Direct Shipping (WDS) is expanding its services, deploying a significantly larger third company-owned vessel, introducing a fleet of 53-foot-long ocean containers, adding a fourth Mexican port of call, and employing more than 30 workers at the port. The latest addition to the WDS fleet, the 590-foot-long M/V Queen B III, can carry as many as 1,800 20-foot-equivalent units of containerized cargo—nearly three times the maximum capacity of either of the line’s M/V Queen B and M/V Queen B II.
WDS now operates three weekly services, providing three-day transit times. Weekly calls at Progreso, in the Mexican state of Yucatan, were added this year, with that port joining Coatzacoalcos, the central Veracruz port of Tuxpan and the southern Tamaulipas port of Tampico on WDS itineraries. This spring also has seen WDS augment its equipment fleet with more than 400 53-foot-long maritime containers that furnish greater cubic capacity for lightweight dry cargoes. Additionally, the company has assumed control over its warehouse and terminal activities at Port Manatee, bringing in its own reachstackers while hiring a dedicated workforce. WDS also recently extended its agreement with Port Manatee through 2026; imports include perishable fruits and vegetables, sugar, appliances and household products, while exports to Mexico are led by paper products.