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The Port of Manatee has already set an annual record in container volume, with two months remaining in the current fiscal year, the Florida port announced earlier this week.During the 10-month period between Oct. 1, 2016, and July 31, 2017, the port logged 32,901 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs), significantly more than the Florida Gulf port's full-year high mark of 30,432 TEUs set in fiscal-year 2010, port officials said in a press release.The total container volume for the first 10 months of fiscal 2017 is up 47 percent compared with the first 10 months of the preceding fiscal year. During all of fiscal 2016, Port Manatee realized moves of 26,210 TEUs, officials said.They attributed the increase to the transition to containers from breakbulk shipping by longtime tenant Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc. for its imports of Central American pineapples and bananas, as well as the "continuing success" of World Direct Shipping's weekly service that has brought produce from Mexico since November 2014."We are excited to have already set a new container record for Port Manatee and are further encouraged that this favorable trend is anticipated to be sustained for a long time," said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee's executive director, who added that the port within the past year has extended its agreements with both Del Monte and World Direct Shipping.For the 10-month period, the port's overall tonnage — including bulk and general cargoes — is up 17 percent to 6,438,146 tons compared with the same period a year ago.
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