TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Port Authority sealed a deal with the second largest shipping container line in the world. Mediterranean Shipping Company began moving goods from the Port of Tampa this week.
Wade Elliott, Senior Marketing Director for the port, calls the group a major player in the global shipping business. He said, "It means that manufacturers and exporters and distribution centers now have the world at their doorstep basically. They can access any export market they need right from Tampa and not have to truck their business."
The port already imports and exports goods outside of the country. But, it now has access to new destinations, like the Middle East and the west coast of South America. That means more cargo containers moving through the port. Elliott said, "This is exports of food products, it's exports of manufactured goods. It's imports of furniture, department store merchandise, refrigerated cargos."
More cargo means more money for the Bay area and will create more jobs. Officials say the community could see at least 200 in the immediate future. Elliott said, "The companies that load and unload the ship, the truckers, the tugs, the pilots. Everybody. The warehousing. Everybody that's involved throughout the transportation mix."
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn says Tampa will feel it's effects for years to come. Mayor Buckhorn said, "The bigger impact would be the long term reach and the extension of the reach of the Tampa port. This is a global carrier. We've never had somebody of this magnitude before. It opens up different markets for us. Different type of products that we can bring in."
Port officials say as Mediterranean gets more cargo in the future, even more jobs could be on the way.