Two stevedoring companies at Port Manatee were approved by the Manatee County Port Authority on Thursday to create a new joint venture.
Stevedoring refers to the loading and unloading of cargo from ships at Port Manatee. Gulf Coast Bulk Equipment Inc. and Logistec USA Inc., a subsidiary of Logistec Corp., reached an agreement to create Logistec Gulf Coast LLC. Both companies provide stevedoring services and Gulf Coast Bulk Equipment specializes in bulk shipping.
Because Gulf Coast Bulk Equipment entered agreements with the Port Authority for construction of and leases for a cargo pad and a dry bulk terminal, the company had to obtain the Port Authority’s authorization before assigning the prior agreements to another party.
“This partnership is reflective of our shared commitment to growing our business and our belief that the port infrastructure, transportation connectivity and available capacity at Port Manatee as well as at Port Redwing at Port Tampa Bay are well-suited to our customers’ needs,” Madeleine Paquin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Logistec, said in a release.
The consolidation will allow both companies to expand bulk cargo handling services with enhanced financial capacity, according to Alain Pilotte, Logistec’s vice president of strategic initiatives. Specifics on the financials of both companies were not immediately available, but Logistec’s 2015 annual report shows $29 million in profits for Logistec Corporation, which is headquartered in Montreal.
Port Manatee executive director Carlos Buqueras said the agreement “reaffirms the confidence our partners have in us.”
“They wouldn’t be expanding if they didn’t feel the port and the authority can accommodate those businesses,” Buqueras said. “It’s a great thing for the port and the residents of Manatee County.”
Logistec has been doing business at Port Manatee since 2003, and Gulf Coast Bulk Equipment has been established there for more than eight years. The companies and the Port Authority hope that the new LLC will bring opportunities for job creation.
“That magic word, jobs, which is what we’re all about,” said at-large Manatee County Commissioner and outgoing Port Authority Chairwoman Betsy Benac.
The Port Authority’s new chairwoman will be District Five Commissioner Vanessa Baugh, who will serve as chairwoman for one year and has been on the Port Authority board since 2012.
Priscilla Whisenant Trace, an Ellenton agriculturist elected to the Manatee County Commission in November, will be the Port Authority’s new first vice chairwoman. District Two Commissioner Charles Smith will be the second vice chairman and another new face to the Manatee County Commission, Bradenton real estate consultant Steve Jonsson, will be the third.