By Ashley Jeffery, Reporter Last Updated: Sunday, October 13, 2013, 3:33 PM
The Port of Tampa went from shipping 6.1 million tons of cargo to 7.8 million tons of cargo in just two years. “It’s been a 27 percent increase from 2010 to this past year,” said Wade Elliott, the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at the Tampa Port Authority. According to a report from ExportNation, the export industry for the Tampa metro area (Tampa, St. Pete and Clearwater) increased by more than 22 percent since 2010. This is important because more products being exported from Tampa means more jobs created here at home. The Amalie Oil Company is in the forefront for exporting. “We export to every country in Latin America right now with the exception of two or three countries,” said Manny Bonet of Amalie Oil. The company’s been blending and shipping motor oil internationally from the port since 1977. A majority of their production is done in house which makes them competitive worldwide. Their international orders alone make up 38 percent of their business; that’s more than $58 million. ”I think our success derives from our distributor network overseas and how we take care of that distribution to make sure it grows,” said Bonet. ”We’re very happy to be playing a role as Tampa bay companies continue to grow their export business and we’re investing to make sure we can be competitive and we can accommodate that growth,” said Elliott. The Tampa Port Authority says they’re looking to spend $55 million in capital investments this year to make sure they have the facilities to accommodate the growth. They’re also planning to export and import vehicles in the coming months.