TAMPA, Fla.— Port Tampa Bay and partner Tampa Bay Business Journal today co-hosted a seminar at the port’s Cruise Terminal 3, to discuss Florida’s major trade and transportation issues, featuring an expert panel of some of the area’s heavy hitters in the field, representing all major modes of transportation. The event was attended by more than 200 of the region’s economic and business leaders who have a stake in the progression of Florida’s international business sector.
Presented by Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, the event was opened with enthusiastic welcoming remarks by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Doug Davidson, market executive with Bank of America. The first of two informative panel discussions was moderated by Tony Carvajal, with the Florida Chamber Foundation, and included Rich Biter, assistant secretary, Florida Department of Transportation; Joe Lopano, chief executive, Tampa International Airport; Sandra Murman, commissioner, Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners; and Paul Anderson, president and CEO, Port Tampa Bay. The second panel, moderated by Alice Ancona, of the Florida Chamber, featured Doug Coultas, Bank of America Leasing; Fernando Fondevila, Copa Airlines; Luis Campanao, Jurue Companies; and Bob O’Malley, of CSX Rail. Keynote address was delivered by former U.S. Senator George LeMieux, who spoke of Florida’s role in global trade and its impact upon the state’s economic well being.
“Port Tampa Bay and its transportation partners are becoming increasingly collaborative, regional and global in our business approach, and we are in the midst of great things happening for our state, and all of us represented today are building a strong case for doing business in, with and through our state, which is investing in its transportation infrastructure like never before,” Paul Anderson, port president and CEO, said. “We are extremely excited, working with our many strategic partners, to move forward with new business relationships, traveling the corners of the earth with our pro-Florida business message, and continue to further Tampa Bay’s and Florida’s status as a global trade hub,” he said.
In line with its commitment to grow the port’s global connections and position for import and export opportunities that will be presented by an expanded Panama Canal, Port Tampa Bay recently announced it will be purchasing two new container gantry cranes to augment throughput of the port’s container terminal, which, at its current footprint of 40 acres, has a throughput capacity of about a quarter-million containers per year. A central focus of the port’s growth moving forward, the port authority continues to invest in container yard-related infrastructure and upland improvements in order to meet the needs of a rapidly growing consumer market in west and central Florida.
About Port Tampa Bay
Port Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest port and the largest economic engine in west central Florida, supporting nearly 80,000 jobs and generating almost $15 billion in annual economic impact. In addition to being a top 10 U.S. cruise port, the port handles a wide array of bulk, break bulk, containers and roll-on/roll-off cargoes, and is a major shipbuilding and repair center. The port was recently voted “Simply the Best” for world-class customer service in a Logistics Management Magazine reader poll. For more information, visit www.portTB.com.