Port Manatee – the closest Florida port to Mexico’s automaking centers of Veracruz and Altamira – has received commitments to take part in the event from executives of original equipment manufacturers, as well as leaders from ocean car carrier, rail and stevedoring sectors. Also to be present are officials of Vecenergy, which owns more than 80 acres adjacent to the initial 30-acre terminal site and 172,500-square-foot vehicle processing building.

“Port Manatee’s strategic location as the closest Florida gateway to Mexican vehicle-making plants will offer considerable time and cost savings for OEMs,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director. “We are encouraged by the industry attention already received and look forward to showcasing the advantages we have to offer here near the entrance to Tampa Bay. Commitments by OEMs will mean hundreds of family-wage jobs for our community.”

Port Manatee signed an agreement Sept. 19 with Pasha for development of the terminal, which is to be served by a new 40-foot-draft berth.

John H. Pasha, senior vice president for California-based Pasha Automotive Services, is confident OEM executives will be impressed, commenting, “Based upon our company’s 67 years in the business, we chose Port Manatee because we see no better location along the Gulf Coast for a state-of-the-industry facility to serve both import and export vehicle markets.”