Port manatee traffic up 53% in fiscal 2021

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PALMETTO, Fla. (WWSB) – Port Manatee set a record for shipping volume in fiscal 2021, the port said on Tuesday.

The port recorded a 53% increase in containerized freight shipments for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, while total cargo tonnage passing through the port increased by more than 12%, also an all-time high.

A record 135,660 20-foot equivalent container units have been processed in the past 12 months, more than 3.5 times the amount handled by Port Manatee three years earlier, in fiscal 2018, have officials said.

“The pandemic has by no means slowed down the safe and efficient flow of goods through Port Lamantin, as we competently respond to consumer demands for everything from fresh produce to forest products,” said the port’s executive director, Carlos Buqueras.

The port credits two individual shippers – World Direct Shipping and Del Monte Fresh Produce – for helping to boost the port’s numbers. Both companies recently upgraded their freight fleet to increase capacity.

The tonnage of forest products passing through Port Manatee has more than doubled, the port said. The volume of wood pulp – including that used in the manufacture of highly demanded toilet paper – reached 138,950 tonnes, more than four times the FY20 volume of 26,373 tonnes, while the tonnage of plywood and of particle board more than tripled, reaching 63,038 tonnes. from 15,366 tonnes. Lumber volume increased 28.3%, from 100,573 tonnes to 129,036 tonnes.

The flow of petroleum products through Port Manatee also remained strong, with the 9,376,621 barrels (393,818,082 gallons) passing through the seaport in fiscal 2021, down just 0.7% from the 9,441 488 barrels (396,542,454 gallons) a year earlier.

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