Port Manatee celebrates maiden voyage
of new World Direct Shipping vessel
PALMETTO, Fla. - Port Manatee has welcomed the M/V Queen B as the new containership in World Direct Shipping's swift cross-Gulf service with Mexico.
The 430-foot-long M/V Queen B, with a capacity of 700 twenty-foot-equivalent container units and 128 refrigerated cargo plugs, succeeds the previously chartered M/V Falmouth in trade between Port Manatee and the port of Coatzacoalcos, in the southern part of the Mexican state of Veracruz.
"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."
Since initiated in November 2014, the weekly World Direct Shipping service has carried growing volumes of refrigerated produce from Mexico while returning from Port Manatee with paper, recycled materials and oversized cargos.
World Direct Shipping purchased the ship earlier this year and outfitted it with a pair of TTS NMF deck cranes at the Pella Sietas Gmbh shipyard in Hamburg, Germany.
During the containership's July 26 maiden call at Port Manatee, the port's deputy executive director, Dave Sanford, presented World Direct Shipping officials with a commemorative plaque.
Betsy Benac, chair of the Manatee County Port Authority, commented, "We are thrilled to welcome the M/V Queen B to Port Manatee and see it as a testament to the success of World Direct Shipping, which in less than two years has become one of Port Manatee's most significant tenants. We look forward to welcoming this ship at the port for many years to come."
Located "Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico," Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal and Cuba's Port of Mariel, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The port generates more than $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while supporting more than 24,000 jobs, without levying ad-valorem taxes.
Participants in a ceremony marking the first Port Manatee call of the M.V Queen B are, from left: Carlos Diaz, co-director of World Direct Shipping; Daniel Blazer, principal of World Direct Shipping; Dave Sanford, deputy executive director of Port Manatee; Robert Blazer, principal of World Direct Shipping; and Nate Tooley, co-director of World Direct Shipping.