Port Manatee has been awarded a $946,950 federal security grant, enabling the Central Florida Gulf Coast port to double the number of outbound lanes at its main gate to securely accommodate increasing cargo volume.
 
“With Port Manatee’s dynamic growth in containerized cargo activity, having more lanes in place is essential to continuing to meet stringent federal requirements for screening of outbound containers,” Carlos Buqueras, the port’s executive director, said in a new release. “We are extremely grateful for this grant funding — the largest grant for any Tampa Bay port — as it allows us to add two more outbound truck lanes at our main gate, augmenting the two such lanes already in place.”
 
David St. Pierre, Port Manatee’s director of seaport security, said in the release that the funding, through the fiscal 2017 Port Security Grant Program of the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency, will be matched by the port with a 25% cost share of $236,737.50.
 
“In addition to facilitating the outbound lane expansion, the funding allows Port Manatee to enhance its contingent of screening equipment, modernize its main gate intercom system and update credential readers,” St. Pierre said. “These enhancements are all crucial to Port Manatee’s appropriate clearance of shipments, including those moving on an expedited basis under the federal Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism homeland security program.”