For Full Story: My Suncoast

Article By: Duhane Lindo


Port Manatee

Florida’s exploding population is keeping Port Manatee growing. Currently, it is one of the largest seaports in the state and has no signs of slowing down.

Port Manatee is actually one of the newest ports in Florida at just 50 years old, but it’s also the fastest growing. In clear view of the Sunshine Skyway bridge lies the closest U.S. deep-water seaport to the expanded Panama Canal. Executive Director of the Manatee County Port Authority Carlos Buqueras says the strategic location is the reason for its success.

He says, “We have grown the port in double digit growth every year.”

Moving in gallons of orange juice, salt, aluminum and other cargo. Buqueras says, “We’re bringing in millions and millions of gallons of gas, enough to supply all of Southwest Florida. Five years ago, we were not doing this.”

All cargo reaching a total of more than 9 million tons of cargo last year and also pointing to the availability of land to expand opportunities and infrastructure. “Roads, berths and dredging. Dredging is a key component in keeping a port as deep as possible to attract the larger ships.”

Using more than 5,000 available acres for this development, he says this massive growth in the port is touching the lives of many Floridians, specifically on the Suncoast supporting more than 24,000 jobs.

“We’ve diversified the port to include many different businesses so today no single business is larger than 10 percent of the port’s business.”