PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The City of Pensacola announced the Port of Pensacola had record-breaking cargo activity for fiscal year 2022, reporting the highest level of cargo activity the port has experienced in more than 15 years.
The city said in a release the port handled 425,277 tons of cargo in the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2022, a 55 percent increase from the previous fiscal year. Additionally, the port said it saw a significant increase in deep draft vessel calls, with 47 calls reported, an 80 percent increase from the preceding fiscal year. The Port said the numbers continue to rise, with a 16 percent increase in vessel calls and a 17 percent increase in tonnage for the most recent quarter compared to the previous quarter.
“The port has been working with our longstanding industry partners and tenants, Cemex and Pate Stevedore, who are directly responsible for these cargo tonnage and vessel call increases, to ensure the safe and efficient movement of record levels of diverse commerce,” Port Director Clark Merritt said. “The Port of Pensacola keeps building upon its role as preferred gateway for delivering cargos throughout Northwest Florida and beyond.”
The Port said this level of cargo activity is not only a significant increase from the previous year, but also 73 percent above the 10-year moving average and the highest it has been since 2007, when the port handled just over 500,000 tons.
Bulk cement from Central America was responsible for the largest cargo increase, but wind energy components and associated equipment imported from Asia and South America continue to remain steady for the foreseeable future, the City said in the release. The Port said it has also recently begun importing a new bulk product used in the agricultural sector, and staff are projecting that the levels of all cargo will continue to increase into 2023 and beyond.
“The Port of Pensacola is committed to continuing to play a vital role in regional economic development and maritime logistics, while also being a great neighbor that is compatible with the vibrancy of downtown Pensacola,” Merritt said.
Working closely with port partners Mayor D.C. Reeves said Pensacola continues to enhance its port infrastructure to ensure it is ready for future growth of all types.
“Just as important to the citizens, the cargo increases are in complete alignment and compatible with the Port Vison Plan, where the port intends to develop the northeast section of the port for new users like the American Magic sailing team and others,” Reeves said.
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