Major industry clusters in the Tampa market include the food and beverage sector, citrus and juice products, furniture, general department store merchandise, steel, and fertilizer products.
Companies such as Rooms to Go, Sysco, Publix, Bealls, Southern Wine & Spirits, Premier Beverages, Coca Cola Refreshments, Pepsico, Cutrale, Disney, VF Wear, Vigo, Amalie, Mosaic, CF Industries, One Steel, Trademark Metals, Lowes, Home Depot, Badcock and Kane’s furniture are examples of some of the exporters and importers with significant facilities in the Tampa/Orlando I-4 corridor region, many of who have recently constructed and/or expanded distribution center capacity.
Major rail and highway projects to enhance the Port's connections to its customers
Cooperative efforts are bringing the Port of Tampa more efficient rail and highway connections well in advance of the 2014 completion of the Panama Canal expansion.
The joint intermodal rail project – Tampa Gateway Rail – is being developed under an innovative public-private partnership between the Tampa Port Authority, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P. and CSX Corp. It is creating the nation’s first ethanol‐unit‐train‐to‐pipeline distribution system, plus Florida’s first on‐dock intermodal container terminal capable of handling unit trains.
The $600 million I‐4/Selmon Expressway Connector project, to include a new direct link between the Port of Tampa and the Interstate highway system, is being coordinated among the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida’s Turnpike and the Tampa‐Hillsborough County Expressway Authority, with a $105 million boost from federal stimulus funds.
For the rail project, more than $10.9 million are being invested by the Tampa Port Authority and CSX, while Kinder Morgan is engaged in expanding the ethanol receipt and distribution capabilities of its terminal at the Port of Tampa.
New rail track and supportive infrastructure being built by the Tampa Port Authority will be able to handle 100‐car unit trains at the Port of Tampa’s expanding container terminal, as well as at the on‐port Kinder Morgan ethanol terminal.
Since its completion in September 2012, the new rail installation now provides the Port of Tampa with the capability to move containers and general cargos directly between ship and rail, expanding the port’s hinterland.
Meanwhile, the highway project, which is on target for mid‐2013 completion, looks to provide a swift link between the Port of Tampa and Interstate 4 (and onward to I‐75) via the I‐4/Selmon Expressway Connector, a 1.5‐mile elevated roadway with dedicated truck lanes and a series of connective ramps.