SeaPort Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the Panama Canal, serving bulk, breakbulk, container, heavy lift, project and general cargo customers. The port generates more than $5.1 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while supporting more than 37,000 direct and indirect jobs, without the benefit of ad-valorem taxes.

Key Commodities

The more than 11 million tons of cargo moving through SeaPort Manatee each year include a broad range of commodities, representing imports and exports to countries of Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Primary imports include:

  • Fruit and vegetable juices
  • Aluminum 
  • Washing, drying machines
  • Bananas and plantains 
  • Refrigerators, freezers 

Primary exports include:

  • Fertilizer 
  • Wood pulp
  • Paper, paperboard scrap
  • Scrap Iron, steel 
  • Sulfur 


SeaPort Manatee is conveniently located near the entrance to Tampa Bay in west-central Florida, along the Gulf of Mexico. It is regarded as the closest U.S. seaport to the Panama Canal, as well as burgeoning Mexican manufacturing centers.

More than eight million Florida residents live within a two-hour-drive of SeaPort Manatee, and the majority of Florida’s 130 million annual visitors may be found within a three-hour drive.

Excellent Road, Rail Links

SeaPort Manatee offers exceptional highway connections, with 60-mph access to Interstate 75 and Interstate 275, as well as Interstate 4. Trucks leaving SeaPort Manatee reach I-75 and I-275 in as few as four minutes via U.S. Highway 41.

SeaPort Manatee’s short line railroad directly connects to the CSX Corp. mainline, which is less than 1 mile from the port’s north gate. To accommodate customers’ demands, the short line is available to port users on a 24/7 basis. The short line features two modern switcher engines and nearly 7 miles of track, offering a capacity of more than 300 rail cars.

Port-Manatee Railroad image

Facts & Figures

Truck scale operations

SeaPort Manatee’s scale house is available 24 hours a day with advance notice, with regular hours of operation of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Abundant warehouse space

SeaPort Manatee offers more than 1 million square feet of public warehouse and office space, featuring 207,000 square feet of refrigerated space.

Large laydown area

SeaPort Manatee offers approximately 70 acres of laydown area.

40-foot-draft channel

SeaPort Manatee is just 12 miles from the Egmont Key pilot station, including 2.95 miles from the intersection of Cut B with the main Tampa Bay Shipping Channel.

The channel and berthing areas are maintained at the design depth of 40 feet at mean low water.

The channel width at the toe of slope is 400 feet.

The turning basin has a diameter of 1,300 feet, capable of accommodating Panamax vessels.

Ten 40-foot-depth berths

Berths 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 14 are each maintained at 40-foot design draft at mean low water.

Plentiful refrigerated plugs

SeaPort Manatee offers 624 stationary refrigerated plugs plus 120 portable receptacles, for a total reefer plug capacity of 744.

Multiple cranes

SeaPort Manatee offers four Gottwald mobile harbor cranes capable of handling containers, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift and general cargos at multiple berth locations.

Gottwald crane specifications:

  • Greatest tandem lift capability of any Florida port authority (165 tons)
  • Lift capacity of each crane of 120 tons at 80 feet
  • Reach capability across 13-container width
  • Each able to move as many as 25 containers per hour
  • Hoisting speeds of 66 feet per minute for 100 tons, 132 feet per minute for 45 tons
  • Maximum radius each of 167 feet
  • Height each of 131 feet
  • Height each of 257 feet from ground with boom elevated to 36-foot radius point
  • Eye view from operator’s cab of 85 feet
  • Operational weight each of 460 tons