The Tampa Steel Conference started over 34 years ago as Port Tampa Bay's Steel Customer Appreciation Night.
Port Tampa Bay is by far Florida’s largest port (by size and tonnage), handling over 37 million tons of cargo per year. For the first half of this fiscal year the port is experiencing a 10% increase in our total cargo tonnage. The port is also Florida’s largest port in terms of physical size (and one of the largest in the country) encompassing over 5,000 acres.
Perhaps even more important than its size is the diversity of the port's portfolio. While most ports around the country only handle one or two types of cargo, Port Tampa Bay is the most diversified port in Florida (and one of the most diversified in the nation) handling ALL major cargo categories, including:
- Liquid bulk (incl. petroleum, sulfur, ammonia, orange juice, etc.)
- Dry bulk (incl. fertilizer, limestone, granite, cement, coal, etc.)
- Break-bulk (we are Florida’s largest steel handling port with a cluster of related activities involving manufacturing, fabrication, processing and distribution with a focus on exports)
- Containers (imports and exports of food and beverage products, consumer goods such as furniture, lubricants, agricultural products, etc.)
- Automobiles (a target growth area for short sea given plant expansion in Mexico and Southeast US)
- Cruise (Nearly 1 million passengers/year)
- Shipbuilding & Repair (while not core to cargo, one of the largest shipbuilding and repair ports in the southeast is seen as adding to diversity and comprehensive full service status as a seaport)
More about Port Tampa Bay & Steel
To maintain its role as Florida’s premier port for the handling of steel products, Port Tampa Bay has developed a 270 acre site in Southern Hillsborough County at Port Redwing/South Bay. With direct access to deep water berths, the Interstate Highway System and CSX Rail mainline connection, the property is zoned for heavy industry and abundant electrical power is available at competitive rates thanks to its immediate proximity to Tampa Electric Company’s Big Bend power plant. In 2015, Tampa Tank/Florida Structural Steel became the first major tenant at Redwing and is fabricating steel structures for export markets. Discussions are underway with other new tenants that are looking to make significant new investments in new steel manufacturing, fabrication and distribution focused on serving export markets in Latin America, as well as the growing Florida market. An additional 145 acres of property is available for companies that see synergies with this Steel Campus or are interested in industrial development and manufacturing for exports or import activities.