Linea Peninsular has added a weekly container service linking Port Tampa Bay with the Mexican ports of Progreso and Altamira, the Journal of Commerce reports.
While the long-promised Tampa-Progreso passenger ferry still appears dead in the water, the announcement is good news for customers shipping anything from containers filled with household goods to heavy factory equipment.
The new route takes two days to reach Progreso, Yucatán, from Tampa, Fla., and two-and-one-half days from Altamira, which is up the coast in Tamaulipas, back to Tampa. The niche carrier serving the Gulf of Mexico also operates between Progreso and Altamira and the U.S. ports of Panama City, Florida, and Houston.
Linea Peninsular launched the new service to meet consumer demand and to provide a faster, more efficient alternative to trucking, said CEO David Humphreys.
“We have wanted to do this for quite some time as the large consumer market in the Tampa Bay I-4 corridor market has become the primary distribution center hub for Florida. Customers have been pushing us to add a Tampa call and the response has been great,” he was reported to say on joc.com.
“We also see lots of potential to assist companies who are currently trucking their business between Mexico and Florida and to help them save money and transit time by converting to the safety and security of an all-water delivery,” Humphreys said.
Port Tampa Bay CEO Paul Anderson said the new service offers potential to expand the port’s Mexican business, “including for such commodities as food and beverage products, consumer goods and construction and building materials.”
Linea Peninsular has been in the cross-Gulf trade since 1984.