Palmetto, Fla.—Oct. 21, 2014—A new direct, weekly Port Manatee service is offering a swift two-way connection between Mexico and U.S. markets for refrigerated produce and other goods. The service, to begin with an Oct. 28 call at Port Manatee, is being introduced by Gulf Breeze, Fla.-based World Direct Shipping, focused on fulfilling a need for a more prompt link for perishable and nonperishable goods.
“With a transit time of only 2.5 days, World Direct Shipping offers the quickest short-sea connection to the U.S. Southeast, Northeast and Midwest,” said Carlos Diaz, business director of World Direct Shipping. “Port Manatee’s proximity to Mexico is ideal for this service. This new fast connection will offer reduced costs and enhanced delivery of a fresher product to consumers east of the Mississippi River.”
The weekly itinerary between the Port of Coatzacoalcos, in the southern part of the Mexican state of Veracruz, and Port Manatee is to be carried out by the containership Falmouth, which has a nominal capacity of 862 twenty-foot-equivalent container units and is equipped with 204 plugs to provide power to refrigerated containers.
Produce to be carried is anticipated to include pineapples, avocados, limes, mangos and bananas, while other cargos are expected to include machinery, vehicles, lumber, paper products, juice concentrates, sugar and beer.
“The new World Direct Shipping service builds upon Port Manatee’s long history of successfully handling refrigerated products—with the largest such capacity on the western coast of Florida—as well as Port Manatee’s cross-Gulf closeness to Mexico,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director, who added that the service is projected to generate as many as 75 new jobs in the Tampa Bay region.
Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico,” Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanding Panama Canal, serving bulk, breakbulk, container, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The port generates more than $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while supporting more than 24,000 jobs regionally, without the benefit of ad-valorem taxes.