The Port of Tampa helps economy stay on track

September 27, 2012 by  

On September 25, the Port of Tampa, Florida, announced the opening of a two-mile railroad loop. While two miles of track may not sound like much, it represents a major stride for Tampa Bay’s biggest economic hub – the Port, which provides approximately 100,000 jobs and generates $8 billion in revenue for Tampa’s economy.

The new Tampa Gateway Rail facility will help to increase those numbers and the new rail connection brings a long-anticipated dream to fruition. Using the new tracks, a train will be able to pull directly onto the docks and move cargo to or from a ship. The construction was made possible by a public-private partnership among the Tampa Port Authority, CSX Railroad, and Kinder Morgan, an energy company. All will profit from the new loop, the port will gain new jobs, CSX will bring more trains into the port, and Kinder Morgan is reported to be planning to make heavy use of the new rail service to ship ethanol.

The rail spur will also make it possible for Tampa to handle container cargo. Via this method, shipping containers are loaded and sealed, shipped, and not opened until at their final destination. Container traffic is fast and efficient and the new rail loop will allow Tampa to get in on this lucrative market.

Port officials will no doubt offer tours to the public and may want to have brochures and flyers on hand to explain their operations to their guests, so a print company may be consulted.