Port Manatee is a deepwater seaport located in the eastern Gulf of Mexico at the entrance to Tampa Bay in northern Manatee County, Florida. It is one of Florida's largest deepwater seaports. The port handles a variety of bulk, breakbulk, containerized and heavy-lift project cargoes. Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the Panama Canal. It is served by mostly cargo ships, but the Regal Empress cruise ship sailed out of the port until the early 2000s.
Port Manatee Imports and Exports
Port Manatee moves approximately 9 million tons of cargo each year.
- Tropical Fruits and Vegetables
- Citrus Juices
- Natural Gas
- Refined Petroleum Products
- Forestry Products
- Project Cargo
- Aluminum and other Non Ferrous Metals
- Finished Fertilizer Products
- Finished Phosphate Products
- Citrus Juices
- Construction and Road-Building Equipment
- Used Vehicles
Port Manatee occupies 1,100 acres. The port has more than one million square feet of public warehouse and office space, with 207,000 square feet of refrigerated space, which includes 30,000 square feet of freezer space.
Port Manatee's railroad connects to the CSX mainline with a 1,835-horspower switch engine and nearly eight miles of track and 300-plus rail car capacity.
The port has two Gottwald HMK 5407 mobile harbor cranes that move containers, bulk, breakbulk, heavy-lift and general cargoes. Each crane can lift up to 100 tons.
Manatee Harbor Channel
The port is 12 miles from the Egmont Key pilot station, including 2.95 miles from the intersection of Cut B with the main Tampa Bay Shipping Channel. Draft: 40-foot draft at mean-low-water Width: 400 feet at toe of slope
Port Manatee's berths and the Manatee Harbor Channel are certified at the design depth of 40-feet at mean-low-water.
Maximum Vessel Length
Foreign Trade Zone
Port Manatee is Foreign Trade Zone No. 169.
Carlos Buqueras was named executive director of Port Manatee in January, 2012.
Manatee County Port Authority
As a special dependent district created by the Florida Legislature, Port Manatee’s governing body is the seven-member Manatee County Port Authority (MCPA). Members serve four-year staggered terms with annual election of officers. The authority sets policy and approves major expenditures for Port Manatee. It is composed of the seven members of the elected Manatee County Commission, but with distinctively separate officers and financial accountability.
The mission of Port Manatee is to be a powerful catalyst of countywide economic growth and hub of trade-related activity, by developing diversified and competitive deepwater shipping facilities and conducting maritime-related activities in a profitable and environmentally responsible manner. - Adopted in open session June 19, 1996
Port Manatee Connector Road
The Port Manatee Connector Road is a proposed east-west limited access highway directly linking Port Manatee with Interstate 75.
Currently in the Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study phase, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are evaluating the need for upgraded access and potential environmental impacts.
Feasibility Study Completed - 2006
Corridors Public Workshop - 2008
Alignments Public Workshop - 2010
Alternative Public Workshop - 2012
Public Hearing - 2013
PD&E Set For Completion - 2014
For more information go to www.portmanateeconnector.com.