For Full Story: Herald-Tribune
Article By: Staff Report
Port Manatee continues to set records for how much cargo it handles, with an all-time high of more than 9.3 million tons passing through it in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. That’s up 19.1 percent from last fiscal year and follows a 13.4 percent increase from fiscal 2016 to fiscal 2017.“The record activity across all cargo sectors bears testament to the success of the diversified strategy we are implementing at Port Manatee and further adds to the impressive contributions the port makes to our region’s prosperity,” said Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority.
Due largely to a jump of more than three times in how much phosphate rock the port handled, dry bulk tonnage surged 48.5 percent for the fiscal year, reaching a record 1.97 million tons, while liquid bulk, the port’s largest sector, rose by 11.4 percent to a record 6.21 million tons, thanks to big gains in of gasoline and bunker fuels, according to port figures released on October 16.
Break-bulk cargo — in which deliveries must be handled individually, not in containers or in bulk like rock or grain — also set a new high point in rising 9.8 percent, to 602,914 tons. The biggest contributors to this increase were a gain of 128.8 percent in wood pulp and a nearly 50 percent rise in tons of lumber.
Containerized cargo also set a record at 385,247, a 6.1 percent rise over fiscal 2017. Loaded container volume rose 2.4 percent, to 30,419 20-foot-equivalent units.
Port Manatee’s executive director, Carlos Buqueras, noted that the port in fiscal year 2018 handled nearly 422 million gallons of gasoline, 73 million gallons of fruit juices and 413,060 tons of fruits and vegetables. The latter included bananas and pineapples shipped throughout the Southeast United States.