PENSACOLA, Florida (WKRG) – On Wednesday, local and state officials, media and business leaders were invited to tour the Port of Pensacola and get an inside look at the many tenants doing business at the port.
With the Port of Pensacola being one of the smallest of Florida’s 15 deepwater ports, Port Manager Clark Merritt said they always try to maximize what they do at the port.
“We have a wide range of business partners, with 23 companies calling this port home,” Merritt said. “The highlight of today is meeting some of the port tenants and seeing what they do on a daily basis.”
For fiscal year 2022, Merritt said the port moved nearly 400,000 tonnes of cargo through the port, representing a 55% year-over-year increase.
“We’re really proud of that,” Merritt said. “In addition, our maritime traffic has increased by almost 77%. The future of the port is also important to us.
The port is seeking a $53,048,217 grant from Triumph Gulf Coast to help fund a $147 million supply chain improvement project. The $53 million in funding will be used to complete the first phase of elements one through three of the supply chain improvement project. According to the port’s pre-request to Triumph, the project includes all aspects of engineering, design and construction of the following, intended to maximize the utilization of 75% of the port while meeting set targets by the community supported vision plan for the remaining 25%.
Component 2 is considered a Marine Center of Excellence and Light Manufacturing Complex, which involves the redevelopment of a multi-tenant launching facility for small boat testing and development, a complex manufacturing facility, marine industry training and manufacturing complex, U.S. sailing A&E and construction center of excellence, intermodal freight forwarding warehouse, flexible manufacturing space, marine research and development center , meeting space and site map Marsh Dredge Overlook-A&E.
“You can see vacant land north of the harbor that is ripe for development,” Merritt said. “It’s in our future.”
Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson said although the port is small, at 55 acres, they always try to add value to what they do.
“We went from being in the red a few years ago to being in the black,” Grover said. “I am very proud of what we have been able to do at the port here and what we will do to continue to develop it. We are very proud of what the future holds because we can develop it even more, but it doesn’t have to be a traditional port. Our goal is not to be the same port as everyone else. Our goal is to be the Port of Pensacola. Port is part of what we do here in downtown Pensacola. We can continue to do so successfully. We’re not going to do it like every other port does, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be in Florida’s top 10 ports.
The six different tenants on the tour were Offshore Inland Marine, Pate Stevedore, Martin Marietta, CEMEX, UWF POP ART and American Magic.