Port Tampa Bay
President and CEO
“Port Tampa Bay’s container business is growing exponentially as our location allows BCOs and container carriers to get closer to their customers with the expansion of DC capacity along the Tampa Bay/Orlando I-4 Corridor.”
Port Tampa Bay has emerged as Florida’s new supply chain solution for container cargo and continues to add capacity to meet the needs of its growing market. The U.S. Census Bureau recently announced that Florida was the fastest growing state in the country in 2022 with a population of over 22.2 million. At the same time, the Tampa Bay region’s economic growth outpaced both the State of Florida and the nation as a whole last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. This rapid expansion is fueling growth of Port Tampa Bay’s cargo tonnage, including its container business which saw a 30% increase last year.
Florida’s Distribution Hub
Expanded container services, including the addition of direct Asia container services, have been instrumental in serving Florida’s largest and fastest-growing market—the Tampa Bay/Orlando I-4 Corridor. Port Tampa Bay is perfectly positioned to provide supply chain efficiencies to the importers and exporters who serve the growing Central Florida region.
Ships arriving at Port Tampa Bay experience no congestion or delays, and the Port has emerged as the preferred gateway to our region due to our proximity to the growing Tampa/Orlando I-4 Corridor market, with more than 500 million square feet of distribution center space.
This Central Florida region is also one of the hottest industrial real estate markets in the country and Florida’s hub for distribution, logistics, and manufacturing. Florida now has the 15th largest economy in the world and is the fastest-growing state in the country. Florida’s rapidly expanding population has already overtaken New York, making it the third-largest state.
Home to nearly half of the state’s population and welcoming a majority of the 140 million visitors each year, the Central Florida region is one of the fastest-growing areas of the state. The importers and exporters who support this huge consumer market are demanding a Florida-first supply chain strategy with expanded direct ocean container services.
Capacity for Continued Growth
Maersk, ZIM, MSC, COSCO, CMA CGM and Evergreen offer weekly direct service from Asia. Latin American services include Sealand to Central America, the Caribbean, and South America, Linea Peninsular’s service from Progreso, Mexico and SeaCat Line from Costa Rica.
Dole Ocean Cargo Express also has a direct weekly service from Honduras and Guatemala serving both the perishable market, as well as dry containerized cargo.
For the beneficial cargo owners in the Port’s immediate backyard, these direct services are especially good news. These companies are seeing significant savings in their supply chain/distribution costs as truckers can now make as many as 3 to 4 round trip deliveries per day from Port Tampa Bay to their DCs, which then serves the entire state and benefits from attractive truck backhaul rates to reach into markets throughout the Southeast and beyond.
Port Tampa Bay, along with container terminal operator Ports America, has easily accommodated the growth in Florida by staying ahead of the curve thanks to our terminal build-out program.
Recent expansion has included increased paved storage to 67 acres, a new expanded gate complex, and three more port-Panamax cranes, bringing the Port’s total to five. The next phase of expansion will bring an additional 30 acres of paved storage, and a berth extension from 3,200 to 4,500 linear feet.