Citrus • Hernando • Hillsborough • Manatee • Pasco • Pinellas • Polk • Sarasota
Logistics and Distribution
Tampa Bay excels at logistics and transportation because it has easy links and all the right assets:
By air: Tampa International, largest of the region’s three commercial airports, handled 18.1 million passengers in 2021, up 77% from the previous year, but not quite reaching pre-pandemic numbers. Not to worry, however.
TIA anticipates significant passenger gains over the next two decades and is preparing to handle them as construction resumes on its Airside D project. In the meantime, Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport logged a 155.7% increase in passengers in 2021 and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport scored its busiest month ever — 278,618 passengers — in July 2022.
By sea: Port Tampa Bay, Florida’s largest port by physical size and cargo tonnage, remains among the nation’s most diversified, handling all major cargo categories including liquid and dry bulk, containers, commodities and automobiles. In FY2021, 33.4 million tons of cargo passed through the port, including 181,738 TEUs of containerized cargo, a 22% increase over the previous year; there was no cruise activity.
On the southern edge of Tampa Bay, 10.4 million tons of cargo moved through the newly renamed SeaPort Manatee, including 135,666 TEUs as well as 109 million gallons of citrus juice, 1.2 billion bananas, 39 million pineapples and 38 million avocados as the port extended its partnership with Del Monte Fresh Produce through at least 2026
By land: Tampa Bay offers 500 miles of active railroad and siding tracks operated by Florida-based CSX, which maintains a major rail yard, intermodal terminal, Transflo terminal and automotive distribution center in Tampa, as well as an interstate highway network that puts 34 million consumers within an 8-hour drive.
KEY PLAYERS: Blue Grace Logistics, Riverview; Dole Fresh Fruit Company, Gulfport, Miss.; Integrity Express Logistics, Cincinnati, Ohio