Port Manatee Prepares for Panama Canal Expansion

Port project to create 595 construction jobs and 180 permanent jobs

Ports ChartGovernor Rick Scott helped break ground today on the first 10 acres of a 52-acre container terminal at Port Manatee’s Berth 12. Expected to be completed mid-year 2013, it is the final piece of the port’s 11-year, $200-million expansion. The project is expected to create 595 construction jobs and 180 permanent jobs.

The work at Berth 12 is aimed at attracting new cargoes expected with the completion of the Panama Canal expansion in 2014. The port received its first ship in October 2011 after being deepened to 41 feet and extended from 1,000 feet to 1,584 feet.

“Florida is making the investment needed to get our ports ready for the expansion of the Panama Canal, and these investments will result in more logistics and manufacturing jobs in our state,” Governor Scott said. “Shipping will be more efficient and economical, and Florida will be positioned as the shipping capital of the Gulf and Eastern seaboard.”

Governor Scott’s Vision for Florida’s Seaports

Florida is uniquely positioned to lead the nation in the volume and value of trade entering our ports. In preparation of the completed expansion of the Panama Canal in 2014, Florida’s investment in expanding and modernizing its seaport system has grown approximately 278 percent, up from $148.8 million in 2011, to $562.7 million in 2013 under Governor Scott’s leadership.

In 2011, Governor Scott put forward an important funding plan to widen and deepen the Port of Miami to allow the state to capitalize on the larger Post Panamax ships that will bring cargo to and from the United States. This important project is projected to add 30,000 Florida jobs in the coming years while allowing our state to outcompete other states for the Post Panamax shipping.

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