Keeping pace with the explosive growth of the market right in our own backyard will be among Port Tampa Bay’s top priorities for the coming year, building upon its record performance in 2018. The Tampa Bay/Orlando I-4 Corridor is leading Florida’s economic expansion as the state’s fastest-growing region and its largest consumer market, with a GDP of more than $300 billion, making it the 10th- largest economy in the US.
Home to almost half of Florida’s population of over 21 million residents, and welcoming a majority of the 120 million tourists who visit every year, the I-4 Corridor has the largest concentration of distribution centers in the state. From this central location in the middle of the Florida peninsula, importers and exporters achieve significant savings in their truck delivery costs to serve the entire state, as well as reaching into markets throughout the Southeast and beyond.
For companies involved in retail distribution, e-commerce, food and beverage, manufacturing, etc., the demands for same-day service, tighter delivery windows, and shorter lead times are driving this shift in supply chain strategy. Ongoing pressures on trucking caused by driver shortages, hours of service, the ELD mandate, and rising fuel costs will continue to push this trend towards DCs and fulfillment centers moving closer to the market.
Together with partners like container terminal operator Ports America and cold storage specialist Port Logistics Refrigerated Services, Port Tampa Bay is expanding infrastructure and capacity to ensure we are well positioned for continued strong growth. In keeping with our master plan Port Vision 2030, we continue to align our capital investment to sustain and grow our core lines of business, while also capturing new business through strategic diversification into additional new markets and commodities.