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In just three decades, Port Manatee has one from an idea for expanding Manatee County's economic base to Florida's fifth-largest seaport, with more growth planned into the next century.
A total of 4.2 million tons of cargo moves through the port on the southern shore of Tampa Bay each year, generating operating revenues of $6.4 million. Cargo shipped and received at Port Manatee includes most anything from citrus juices and tropical fruits to automobiles and building products.
Port Manatee is the state's largest container cargo port, even though the majority of cargo moving through the port is liquid bulk. Cargo destinations range from Central and South America to South Africa.
The port is becoming just …