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June 5 2023

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION FLORIDA TRADE AND LOGISTICS 34 Journal of Commerce | June 5, 2023 PERFECTLY POSITIONED IN the center of the state, Port Tampa Bay provides significant efficiencies and supply chain cost savings to the importers and exporters who serve the rapidly growing Florida market from the state's distribution hub — the Tampa Bay/Orlando I-4 Corridor. The recent expansions of container services with Asia and Latin America via Port Tampa Bay have been critical in serving Florida's largest and fastest-growing market. Home to the state's largest concentration of distribution centers, the Central Florida region has over 550 million square feet of DC space right in Port Tampa Bay's backyard. This region is also one of the hottest industrial real estate markets in the country and Florida's hub for distribution, logistics and manufacturing. Florida now has the 15th largest economy in the world and is the fastest-growing state in the country. Florida's rapidly expanding population has already overtaken New York, making it the third-largest state. Home to nearly half of the state's 22.2 million residents and welcoming a majority of the 140 million visitors to the state each year, the Central Florida region is also the fastest-growing part of the state. Beneficial cargo owners are seeing significant savings in their drayage and distribution costs as truckers make as many as three to four round-trip deliveries per day from Port Tampa Bay to their DCs, which then serves the entire state. Customers also benefit from attractive northbound backhaul truck rates to extend their reach into markets throughout the Southeast and beyond. Port Tampa Bay, along with container terminal operator Ports America, has accommodated the growth in Florida by staying ahead of the curve thanks to its terminal build-out program. Recent expansion has increased paved storage to 67 acres with a new gate complex opening in June 2023, and three more post-Panamax cranes that will be operational by summer 2023. The next phase will bring an additional 30 acres of paved storage and a berth extension from 3,200 to 4,500 linear feet. Florida's preferred supply chain solution leave empty. This results in very attractive backhaul rates, typically 50% less than southbound rates. As a result, cargo arriving in 40-foot ocean containers at Port Tampa Bay is being transloaded into domestic 53- foot trailers for very cost-effective delivery to customers in other major markets beyond Florida," said Alfonso. "This includes our customers receiving perishable products at the port's on-dock, state-of-the-art cold storage facility operated by Port Logistics Refrigerated Services, and expanding their market reach using intermodal services provided by CSX Greenway and J. B. Hunt," he added. To keep infrastructure capacity ahead of the market curve and efficiency in tip-top shape, Port Tampa Bay — together with its container terminal operator partner, Ports America — has been making substantial investments. According to Alfonso, some of the projects in the works are: three additional cranes, recently delivered and scheduled to be operational over the next few months; a new six-lane gate system to be operational June 2023, with the latest technology including weigh-in-motion scales and optical character recognition; and increased paved storage (from 67 acres to 97 acres) expected to be completed in 2024. Additionally, the container complex will get a berth extension. The new Berth 214 — also set for completion in 2024 — will extend the contiguous dock length from 3,200 to 4,500 feet, allowing three large ships to be worked simultaneously. Further enhancing container supply chain efficiency, a 500,000-square-foot on-dock rail- served transload facility will break ground in another year. It will be operated by Tradepoint Tampa. Companies will be able to unload from dock to truck, bypassing an off-site distribution facility and zooming off to a final destination. There are cargo types that need that linear efficiency. To support all of its cargo growth, Alfonso said Port Tampa Bay has a future deep-draft channel project in the works. Consumption zone workhorse Port Everglades is one of the most diversified ports in the country, servicing broad cargo needs for the massive consumption zone that is South Florida. Its hinterland extends further afield as well. It is a surprisingly active export hub. Jonathan Daniels, CEO, said the port's import- export trade is quite balanced. That's a draw for shipping lines that prize backhaul. "There are some closed-loop systems that we can take advantage of, such as raw materials like fabric textiles going into the Central American market, then being manufactured into finished products, and then being returned through Port Everglades," said Daniels. The port's more unusual claim to fame is that it is one of the largest undergarment ports in the US. Its vast import perishables business has introduced tremendous opportunity for other commodities. Instead of refrigerated containers returning empty to Central America and other markets, they are now often filled with vehicles and other backhaul, he added. North-South trade lanes may be called Florida's bread and butter, but Gulf of Mexico routings are just as critical, especially for energy. Port Everglades handles one-third of the state's gasoline needs, diesel, jet fuel (for Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Key West and Palm Beach airports, and some of Fort Myers' and Bradenton's), as well as other energy products. Most days it moves 12,000 gallons. To keep that business flowing, the port's Slip 1 rehabilitation project relocates a structural bulkhead and widens the slip to 450 feet to accommodate significantly larger, more economical vessels. "The terminal operators invested in a new rack system, pipelines and manifolds, at a cost of [roughly] $200 million. We worked hand in hand with the state. FDOT [Florida Department of Transportation] contributed $43.4 million. And DEP [Florida Department of Environmental Protection] is providing $27.5 million to clean up historical contamination on that site," said Daniels. Slip 1 is a true public-private partnership.

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