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2016 Florida Export Guide


ort Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest port,

handling more than 37 million tons of

cargo per year. It is also the state’s biggest

port in terms of physical size, encompass-

ing more than 5,000 acres — making it one of the

largest ports in the country.

In fact, Port Tampa Bay has the capacity to

manage a diverse range of cargo. It is the most

diversified port in Florida, handling all major cargo

categories, as well as passengers and shipbuilding.

Port Tampa Bay also is Florida’s largest steel

handling port with a cluster of related activities

involving manufacturing, fabrication, processing and

distribution — with a focus on exports.

“In addition to being one of the world’s premier

steel and fertilizer export ports,”Tampa is home

to several globally successful exporters,” says Wade

Elliott, the port’s vice president of marketing and

business development. “Among the port’s leading exporters

are Amalie Oil, a manufacturer of specialty engine oils export-

ing to over 100 countries, and Tampa Tank/Florida Structural

Steel, a manufacturer of bridges, petroleum storage tanks and

specialized steel structures with a focus on Latin American

exports, as well as domestic markets.”

Port Tampa Bay serves a region with more than 8 million

people.Moreover, the Interstate 4 corridor is home to the larg-

est concentration of distribution centers in Florida. Companies

can leverage the port’s central location in the state to minimize

both transit time and delivery cost for serving the entire state.

In addition to being the closest full-service U.S. port to the

Panama Canal, Port Tampa Bay is also well-positioned for

emerging opportunities in trade with Cuba.

Port Tampa Bay is a deepwater port with large tracts of

property available for manufacturing and industrial develop-

ment.The port offers excellent highway and rail access, and

competitive energy costs.

Port Tampa Bay plans to invest more than $400 million

over the next five years to improve its infrastructure, including

new docks, terminals and navigational improvements.

“In April 2016, we dramatically ramped up our capability to

attract new container services, with the addition of two new

post-Panamax container gantry cranes,” says Elliott. “Together

with partner Ports America, the largest stevedoring firm in the

U.S., Port Tampa Bay has a phased build-out plan to quadruple

the size of its container terminal to more than 160 acres.”

Port Tampa Bay also is planning to build a multi-phased

refrigerated warehouse complex and food campus targeting

imports and exports of chilled and frozen agricultural com-

modities and protein products. Future expansion will include

a new express rail link between the port and the midwestern

United States.

“Port Tampa Bay’s refrigerated expansion plans will enhance

the Port’s strategy to attract additional containerized services

and cargo, as well as breakbulk cargo,” says Elliott.

To maintain its role as Florida’s premier port for handling

steel products, Port Tampa Bay designated a 270-acre site in

Southern Hillsborough County at Port Redwing/South Bay

for further development.The site has direct access to deep-

water berths, the interstate highway system, and the CSX Rail

mainline connection.

Together with CSX Rail, Port Tampa Bay is collaborating

to attract additional dry bulk terminals and commodities.

Already, Gulf Coast Bulk Equipment opened a new termi-

nal in 2015 to handle prilled sulfur, a key input to the fertil-

izer manufacturing process and the port’s leading export


In late 2012, Port Tampa Bay, CSX and Kinder Morgan

inaugurated the Tampa Gateway Terminal, Florida’s first

on-dock unit train terminal receiving ethanol to serve the

local/regional market. In 2014, the port completed phase

one of its marine petroleum terminal expansion, adding new

deepwater berths and a new pipe delivery system to handle

petroleum and other energy products.

Together with AMPORTS, Port Tampa Bay also has devel-

oped a new dedicated terminal to accommodate the projected

growth of automobile imports and exports resulting from

the expansion of plant capacity underway in Mexico and the

southeastern United States.

Port Tampa Bay: A Catalyst for Florida Trade