The Tampa Port Authority added 15 acres to its 25-acre container terminal, which now includes 2,100 feet of berth, three rail-mounted gantry cranes and a 100-ton mobile harbor crane on a 43-foot-deep channel. A further extension, to be completed this summer, will add another 700 feet of berth and extend the gantry crane rails.
At full build out, which will be done as market demand warrants, the terminal will reach 160 acres. TPA and terminal operator Ports America estimate that they will be able to handle more than 1 million TEUs per year. The port is positioning itself to exploit the expansion of the Panama Canal, scheduled to be finished in 2014. The port and an Executive Shippers’ Council comprised of 150 central Florida exporters and importers are working to attract more container carriers to Tampa. Currently, container carriers Zim Line, Tropical Shipping (Cayman Islands), Seatrade (Costa Rica) and Horizon Lines (Puerto Rico) call Tampa.
The Tampa/Central Florida region has a population of 8 million people, according to TPA. The Florida Department of Transportation is now building a truck ramp and connector that will directly link the port to the Interstate 4/Interstate 75 system.
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