Port Manatee signs alliance
PANAMA. Port Manatee’s stature as an emerging container port took a major step forward Monday when Executive Director David L. McDonal...
PANAMA. Port Manatee’s stature as an emerging container port took a major step forward Monday when Executive Director David L. McDonald and Panama Canal Authority CEO Alberto Alemán agreed to a two-year strategic alliance.
The accord, known as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), allies the two organizations to achieve increased trade by soliciting shippers worldwide through collaborative marketing and information sharing.
Port Manatee becomes the 10th U.S. member of an exclusive Panama Canal MOU fraternity, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Georgia Ports Authority, South Carolina State Ports Authority, Virginia Port Authority, Massport, Port of Miami, Port of Tampa, Port of Houston and the Port of New Orleans. Port Manatee, the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the Panama Canal, is the only nonestablished container port in the group.
“The MOU with the Panama Canal Authority formalizes a relationship we have enjoyed for nearly 40 years and demonstrates the canal’s confidence in Port Manatee’s future as a container port. In time, that confidence will result in thousands of regional jobs,” McDonald predicted after the signing.
Two years ago the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) broke ground on the $5.25 billion Panama Canal expansion. The project essentially doubles the canal’s capacity with the creation of two new sets of locks, enhanced navigational features and the addition of new access channels – all to accommodate larger post-Panamax-sized ships. Construction is expected to be complete in five years. “This collaboration is beneficial as we seek innovative ways to provide our customers with the most safe, reliable and efficient service,” added Alemán. “Looking ahead to 2014 and the completion of the waterway, we anticipate growth in trade and the emergence of new economic opportunities – definitely a win-win for our customers, the people of Manatee County (Florida) and the people of Panama.”
“Port Manatee’s unique geographic location on Florida’s Tampa Bay and proximity to the Panama Canal – combined with its inspired vision for the development of logistics distribution facilities – speak volumes about its future as an emerging container port,” said Kurz, the former president of Mobil Shipping and Transportation Company and former chairman and CEO of Seabulk International.