From Tampa Bay, Florida to Brownsville, Texas the U.S. Gulf Ports have experienced a growth in business — some of it due to the shift from West Coast Ports to the Gulf — and some of the growth is a result of prudent investments in port infrastructure to capture the opportunities.

A Dole container vessel docked at the Port of Tampa Bay.

Port Tampa Bay, FL

In late February, Port Tampa Bay clinched an important infrastructure deal. Tradepoint Atlantic, which owns a 3,300-acre global multimodal logistics hub and industrial center on Sparrows Point in the Port of Baltimore, announced that the Port Tampa Bay’s Board of Commissioners approved a lease agreement with “Tradepoint Tampa” for 35 acres of land to build a new trans-load warehouse distribution facility. Under the terms of a 40-year lease agreement, Tradepoint Tampa will design, construct, and operate an approximately 500,000 square foot facility for the trans-loading of cargo between ocean containers, trucks, and rail cars. The new trans-load facility will be located on Hooker’s Point adjacent to the port’s container terminal, which is also being expanded with additional paved storage, cranes, and a new gate complex, as well as the port’s on-dock cold storage facility.
And this isn’t the only new business in the port. The port is also expanding by leaps and bounds and got a big boost from the US DOT. Port Tampa Bay will receive $12.6 million in grant funding from the US DOT to expand and diversify a berth at Port Redwing. The port’s funding allocation is part of $1.5 billion in grant funding made available through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program. Tampa will use RAISE funding to create Berth 301 at the satellite facility, Port Redwing. The new berth will provide room for a third large ship to be worked at the port. Additional private investment and investment from Port Tampa Bay will be added to the grant’s funds. Besides Redwing, there is a terminal expansion underway which includes increased storage to 97 acres from 67 acres, berth expansion to 4,500 feet from 3,200, an additional new gate, and three new gantry cranes.

The port anticipates completion of $78.3 million in capital improvement projects in 2023. At $35.4 million, Hooker’s Point Development is the largest component of the capital plan and includes berth and road improvements.

Aerial view of SeaPort Manatee

SeaPort Manatee, FL

SeaPort Manatee, which had a record breaking year in 2022, has embarked on a strategy to leverage the port’s location as a freight gateway to Florida with connection to Latin America and the Panama Canal. In February the port inked a deal with Chile-based Agencias Universales S.A. (Agunsa) to operate a terminal through a new subsidiary called Agunsa Manatee Terminal (AMT). In press reports, Maximiliano Urenda, Chief Development Officer Grupo Empresas Navieras (Agunsa) said of the acquisition, “Our strategy in the United States is to drive growth both organically and inorganically. On the one…

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