SeaPort Manatee reported an upsurge of more than 32 percent in containerized cargo tonnage in the six-month period ended March 31 over the comparable year-earlier fiscal half.
During the first six months of its current fiscal year, the Florida Gulf Coast trade gateway handled an all-time high of 660,847 short tons of containerized cargo while also establishing a record for 20-foot-equivalent container units. The 85,383 TEUs moving across SeaPort Manatee’s docks representd a 26 percent increase over the previous year , according to figures released Tuesday, April 19.
The new container marks were facilitated by volume growth for both of the port’s primary containerized cargo carriers, SeaPort Manatee-based World Direct Shipping (WDS) and Coral Gables-based Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. WDS, in its ninth year importing produce and other goods from Mexico, has expanded its cross-Gulf service offerings, while the Del Monte unit has deployed eco-friendly containerships to bring Latin American fruit 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 percent over a year earlier; noncontainerized breakbulk tonnage of 351,878, up 34.4 percent, spurred by strong volumes of woodpulp (much of it used in manufacture of toilet paper), lumber, plywood and other forest products, as well as aluminum and recycled steel materials; dry bulk tonnage of 1,230,124, up 13 percent, with big gains in moves of granite and dry phosphate rock; and liquid bulk tonnage of 3,122,510, up 3.8 percent.