TAMPA, Fla.—With a crowd of about 300 port stakeholders, community leaders and elected officials on hand at Port Tampa Bay’s Cruise Terminal 2 today, leaders of the state’s largest port recapped a successful year of partnerships and economic development, while providing a road map for future business and infrastructure plans that are poised to ensure economic might and job growth in the years ahead.
The annual State of the Port address is the port’s authority’s opportunity to share highlights and important statistics about cargo movement and financial activity that represents the port’s diverse lines of business, including cargo, cruise and ship building/repair. Paul Anderson, port president and CEO, hosted the event and delivered his annual comprehensive address, which included video excerpts of port activity and testimonials by some of the port’s biggest customers, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Hillsborough County Commission Chairwoman Sandy Murman.
Historically, the presentation serves to recap the last year of operations and to deliver the port authority’s vision for the future. Port Tampa Bay works in collaboration with a bevy of economic development agencies, as well as local, state and federal governments to effectively bring prosperity, jobs and added value to the Tampa Bay region and the state.
“Our plans for diversifying and expanding our lines of business and our infrastructure, as well as new business opportunities, all with a backdrop of an expanded Panama Canal and the opportunities in Latin America—all of it coming into focus, getting closer and clearer. The port’s generational projects and engagement will continue to leave a lasting and positive legacy,” Anderson said. “Our main mission is to create an environment for sustainable economic growth and job creation by leveraging our assets while positioning our community and our state for a bright and prosperous future.”
Immediately prior to the port event, Paul Anderson and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that serves to connect the two port administrations together in working toward common goals, moving ahead. This type of partnering and regionalism has become a welcome trend in Tampa Bay and Central Florida, and Port Tampa Bay is proud to play a leadership role in collaborative efforts that will create positive results and economic value. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn touted the joint agreement as yet another step Tampa Bay has taken toward working together without barriers or political division.