Naviera Master Line de Venezuela said it will start calling Port Manatee on Tampa Bay on March 8.
Naviera Master Line said the fortnightly service will carry container and breakbulk cargoes between Port Manatee and destinations in Colombia, Panama, Venezuela and Trinidad.
“For the targeted business we have with Central Florida auctions, like Alex Lyon & Son, CAT, Ritchie Bros. and Yoder & Frey, Port Manatee is the closest port to Orlando and a very strategic port to the countries that we serve,” said Naviera Master Line President Juan Carlos Esquivel. “It’s all about location.”
Esquivel explained that much of the cargo his company carries is heavy equipment sold at auctions in Central Florida, which are closer to Port Manatee than ports in South Florida.
The most distant auction from Port Manatee is just 90 miles away, he said, which could result in a 60 percent reduction in inland freight charges for some shippers when compared to a sailing from South Florida.
Naviera Master Line said typical cargoes will include oversize and heavy construction equipment and a variety of containerized cargoes destined for Cristobal, Panama; Cartagena and Barranquilla, Colombia; Maracaibo, Puerto Cabello, La Guaira and Guanta, Venezuela; and La Brea, Trinidad.
He said each voyage will include calls at some ports in Colombia and Venezuela, but that calls in Panama and Trinidad will be by inducement.
Last year Naviera Master Line started a service between Port Everglades on Florida's East Coast and Venezuela and Colombia
"We look forward to officially welcoming Naviera Master Line and we plan to actively promote the new service to Florida shippers and overseas companies,” said Port Manatee Executive Director Carlos Buqueras. - Chris Dupin