Shipping Service: Greater Baton Rouge, Port Manatee, Tampa

Container-on-Barge Service Returns to Greater Baton Rouge

Container-on-barge service has returned to the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, providing the petrochemical industry with another option for moving its products.

Operated by SEACOR AMH, the service transports empty containers by barge to the Inland Rivers Marine Terminal (IRMT) and loads them with products from nearby industries. The IRMT is located on a slack water canal off the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in the Port Allen area of Greater Baton Rouge. The full containers are barged back to the Port of New Orleans via the Mississippi River.

"Since we started, the service has attracted area shippers in the petrochemical industry that currently move containers to, and through, the region. We are extremely excited about the level of interest so far," said Richard Teubner, vice president of SEACOR AMH.

According to Greg Johnson, the port’s director of business development at the port, utilizing the barge option allows loading containers to capacity, or 15 percent more than the weight limit restrictions placed on trucks. That amounts to additional weight of up to 5 tons that can be stowed in the container. The barge option also alleviates highway congestion and reduces pollutants.

"Increasing the efficiency of their logistics chain is key," said Mr. Teubner. "We provide them an option that eliminates the congestion that can occur on both ends of the supply chain in the surface transportation system. Container-on-barge improves port throughput, reduces dwell time and also offers an additional overweight corridor for transportation."

Furthermore, he notes, "The majority of these refineries have a 24-hour per day/7-day per week operation and they can load and receive containers all day long. But they can't deliver a container or pick up an empty 24/7 directly to the ports. Our facility in Baton Rouge will be able to better accommodate their production schedules."

In April, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx designated the new service a "Marine Highway Project."

"This designation will allow us to further our mission of moving commerce efficiently," said Jay Hardman, executive director of the Port of Greater Baton Rouge. "In addition, it will qualify us for federal grants that will also help us to successfully compete globally."

Port Manatee Celebrates New World Direct Shipping Container Vessel

World Direct Shipping’s Queen B working cargo at Port Manatee
Photo/Port Manatee

World Direct Shipping (WDS) has deployed a newly acquired container ship in its cross-Gulf service between Port Manatee and Coatzacoalcos, Mexico.

The 430-foot- M/V Queen B has a 700-TEU capacity and is equipped with 128 refrigerated cargo plugs. WDS purchased it this year as a replacement for a chartered vessel, M/V Falmouth, and outfitted it with a pair of deck cranes at a shipyard in Germany.

During the containership’s July 26 maiden call at Port Manatee, the port’s deputy executive director, Dave Sanford, presented WDS officials with a commemorative plaque.

Since its initiation in November 2014, the weekly service has transported growing volumes of refrigerated produce to Port Manatee, returning to Coatzacoalcos with paper, recycled materials and oversized cargo.

"The right-sized M/V Queen B is ideally suited for this trade, offering enhanced energy efficiency, including the ability to smoothly transition to low-sulfur fuel when entering U.S. emissions control area waters," said Carlos Diaz, co-director of World Direct Shipping. "The vessel will carry on World Direct Shipping’s established transit time of only 2 1/2 days – the quickest short-sea connection between Mexico and the U.S. Southeast, Northeast and Midwest."

Celebrating the M/V Queen B’s maiden call at Port Manatee, from left, are: Carlos Diaz, co-director, World Direct Shipping (WDS); Daniel Blazer, principal, WDS; Dave Sanford, deputy executive director, Port Manatee; Robert Blazer, principal, WDS; and Nate Tooley, co-director, WDS.
Photo/Port Manatee

New Weekly Container Service Between Tampa and Mexico

Linea Peninsular has initiated weekly container service between Mexico and Tampa. The fixed-day service calls Port Tampa Bay every Tuesday bound to and from the ports of Altamira and Progreso. Transit times are 2 ½ -days from northern Mexico and 2-days to the Yucatan peninsula. The carrier handles breakbulk and project cargo as well as containers (including reefer containers).

"We are very excited to add Port Tampa Bay to our rotation" noted David Humphreys, CEO of Linea Peninsular. "We have wanted to do this for quite some time as the large consumer market in the Tampa Bay I-4 corridor market has become the primary distribution center hub for Florida. Customers have been pushing us to add a Tampa call and the response has been great."

He sees "lots of potential to assist companies who are currently trucking their business between Mexico and Florida and to help them save money and transit time by converting to the safety and security of an all-water delivery."

"We are delighted to welcome Linea Peninsular to Port Tampa Bay," stated Port Authority CEO Paul Anderson. "Mexico is already one of Port Tampa Bay's top trading partners and we see significant potential to expand our containerized business with Mexico, including such commodities as food and beverage products, consumer goods and construction and building materials."

Linea Peninsular vessel Guadalupe at Port Tampa Bay container terminal
Photo/ Andy Fobes, Port Tampa Bay