Paul Andersen, President and CEO, Port Tampa Bay
Author picture

Paul Andersen, President and CEO, Port Tampa Bay

While 2024 will undoubtedly present challenges for carriers and beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) in certain trades, those companies that participate in expanding markets via emerging gateways stand well positioned for any uncertainty that lies ahead. 

The importance of supply chain resiliency was an important lesson learned from the pandemic, shining a spotlight on new, more efficient routes to serve customers, versus the traditional gateways. 

Finding new ways to improve efficiency and reduce costs is critical in today’s market. BCOs are demanding that their cargo be delivered via ports that are closest to large and fast-growing markets, as opposed to more circuitous routes. The ability to make multiple round-trip deliveries per day from port to distribution center means not only substantial savings in drayage costs, but also a greener, more sustainable supply chain solution. 

Ports that have ample land available for continued growth and those that are making strategic investments to add capacity are in excellent shape to meet any challenges. Port Tampa Bay is in that position. At the center of the fastest-growing region in the fastest-growing state in the country, we are aggressively adding more acreage, more cranes and more berths to ensure we continue to stay ahead of the curve. With a population of over 22 million residents, Florida is the nation’s third-largest state with over 1,000 people moving here every day. Florida is the world’s 15th largest economy and is a preeminent global tourist destination, welcoming over 140 million visitors per year, further driving demand for containerized cargo. The Tampa Bay/I-4 Corridor — Florida’s Distribution Hub — fills that appetite, as it is home to the largest concentration of distribution centers in the state, with Port Tampa Bay positioned as the closest port to serve this market.