Port Tampa Bay serves a huge local market of 8 million people within 100 miles and has an economic impact of $8 billion and 100,000 jobs.
The port, Florida’s largest tonnage port, takes in 40 percent of the state’s seaborne cargo. With over 5,000 acres, it is one of the largest ports in area in the nation. It is also one of the nations most diversified ports with a portfolio that includes, handling fertilizer, fuel, cargo containers and cruise ship passengers. In 2011 it generated a record $42 million in operating revenue. the Port is one of the top shipbuilding and repaire centers in the Southeast
There is no question that the Port suffered along with the Tampa Bay economy during the recession that started in 2008. Total tonnage fell for several years in a row. The phosphate market diminished, the housing bust crippled construction shipments and coal all but disappeared from its docks.
The future holds promise: $320 million in improvements are planned for the next five years.
A new rail line and roadway connecting Interstate 4 and the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway will make it faster to move cargo out of the port. The port is an expanding container gateway to Florida and the Southeast. Tampa also hopes to lure more cargo when the Panama Canal expansion is complete in 2014.
The port faces some challenges. It is a home port for major cruise lines but some of the new megaships won’t fit under the Sunshine Skyway bridge.
In 2013 the Tampa Port Authority sealed a deal with the second largest shipping container line in the world. Mediterranean Shipping Company, who began moving goods to and from the Port of Tampa. The effect is to immediately give the Port access to new destinations, like the Middle East and the west coast of South America. This has a significant impact on the Port by expanding the reach and long term growth of the Tampa port
In 2014 the Port Of Tampa Changed its name to Port Tampa Bay in order to better reflect the area that it serves.
The Tampa-Clearwater-St Petersburg area alone serves an area of 2.84 million, one of the largest metro areas in the United States. Port Tampa’s marketing mission is to help the market understand that Tampa Bay area represents a strong alternative to other regional ports. Port Tampa has signed development deals for facilities that can serve new cargo markets, such as cars made in Mexico