Oct. 27, 2022
Port of Pensacola Highlights Tenants, Port Success During Maritime Commerce Day
The Port of Pensacola hosted a Maritime Commerce Day and port tour Wednesday, Oct. 26 to give port partners and members of the media a behind the scenes look at the variety of tenants operating at the port, from American Magic and Cemex to Martin Marietta and Offshore Inland Marine.
The tour, which was sponsored by Cemex, Propeller Club, Pensacola Navy League and the Port of Pensacola, provided an opportunity for tenants to give an overview of their operations and share insight into the future of the Port of Pensacola.
"There is so much going on at the Port of Pensacola that the public doesn't always get to see, and this event is always a great opportunity to highlight the great things happening at the port," Port Director Clark Merritt said. "Our tenants are working hard every day to provide goods and services to a variety of industries, and the port continues to see cargo tonnage increases and business growth every year. I am very excited to keep the momentum going strong as the port continues to develop and remain an economic driver for the Pensacola community."
Mayor Grover Robinson and Port Director Clark Merritt provided remarks at the event before attendees toured six tenant stations: Offshore Inland Marine, Pate Stevedore, Martin Marietta, Cemex, UWF POP Art, and American Magic sailing team.
Offshore Inland Marine Services began operating at the Port of Pensacola in 2010, officially moving from Mobile, Alabama to make the port its home base in 2015. Offshore Inland's operations include tanker and cargo ship repair, dive support mobilizations and drill rig repair, and they also had approximately 150 employees working on the Blue Origin ship when it was docked at the Port of Pensacola.
Josh Berglund, Commercial Manager for Offshore Inland, said the company is excited to get started in the offshore wind industry after being awarded a contract for their first offshore wind project on the East Coast. Berglund said Offshore Inland is also working on a long-term project that would double their port calls, which they are eager to share details about soon.
"We're so appreciative of the support of the port and the city for all the support they give us, because we wouldn't be able to do what we do without them," Berglund said.
Port tenant Pate Stevedore has been in business at the port for over 100 years and handles all cargo that goes in and out of the port, including all GE wind energy components such as wind turbine nacelles. Port Director Clark Merritt said the port began importing that cargo by vessel within the past year or so, which has increased the port's vessel traffic.
Overall, the port's vessel traffic has increased 77% this fiscal year.
"So some of what I talked about with our increase in vessel traffic is a direct result of that cargo coming in here versus going to Houston, or Mobile, or Mississippi," Merritt said. "So it saves GE money for transportation costs by having it come on a vessel – a vessel is the most cost effective way to move any type of cargo. So it's working out for everybody."
Port tenant Martin Marietta is a supplier of building materials including aggregates, ready mixed concrete, asphalt and cement. Most of their business comes from concrete plants, along with contractors who use their limestone product as a base material for asphalt, concrete, housing foundation and more. Martin Marietta imports approximately 100,000 tons of material to the Port of Pensacola each year.
Another port tenant, Cemex, is forecast to import approximately 300,000 tons of bulk material per year in 2022 and 2023, with plans to expand their rail capacity to increase distribution throughout the Panhandle and Southeastern U.S. Cargo imports and exports at the port were 55% higher this fiscal year than last year, with more than 425,000 tons of cargo imported and exported at the port.
Tour participants also got a chance to see the American Magic sailing team, who have made the Port of Pensacola their training base as they prepare for the 37th America's Cup. This marks their third winter training on the Gulf Coast.
"The biggest thing for us about being out here is the sailing venue you guys have, with flat water, plenty of room," said Tyson Lamond, Chief Operating Officer for American Magic. "We're very fortunate with that."
Mayor Robinson said he sees sailing as a big part of the Port of Pensacola's future, and American Magic is a catalyst for that future.
"This is a big win for the Port of Pensacola, and it's a big win for Northwest Florida," Mayor Robinson said. "If we can really be the spot for American Sailing, that's going to be a good position for us, and we're really excited about that opportunity."
To learn more about the Port of Pensacola, visit portofpensacola.com.
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