Port Tampa Bay celebrates arrival of diverse cargo from Japan, SkyConnect

- TAMPA, Fla., (July 17, 2017) —Port Tampa Bay, in conjunction with Tampa International Airport, today welcomed the arrival of the airport’s SkyConnect trains from a Mitsubishi factory in Mihara, Japan. Today’s historic event, which included more than 150 guests, represents the first Japanese cargo business exchange of this kind in the United States.

A business opportunity of this significance welcomed remarks from Gov. Rick Scott, Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, FDOT Secretary Michael Dew, Consul General Ken Okaniwa from the Consulate-General of Japan in Miami, Hillsborough County Aviation Authority Chairman Robert Watkins, and representatives from Mitsubishi.

CEO Paul Anderson acknowledged Gov. Rick Scott for his deep commitment to creating jobs in Florida and the incredible investments made in the states’ ports, both air and sea.

Gov. Scott lauded Tampa’s airport, along with other Florida airports, for surpassing Texas as the second busiest place for air travel in the country. “My job is to make sure everyone does business in Florida,” said Scott. “It is truly a great day for Florida and Japan.” 

The arrival of the 12 trams is part of the $417 million, 1.4-mile automated people mover project led by the airport’s expansion project. Each tram is branded with the image of a black skimmer, great egret, roseate spoonbill, white ibis, white pelican or bald eagle.

Tampa International Airport was a strategic partner in Mitsubishi choosing Port Tampa Bay as its port of receivership. Anderson praised Lopano for recommending Port Tampa Bay as the port of choice for the arrival of this unique cargo.

“Today’s event is an example of how regional partnerships strengthen every stream of business in Tampa Bay,’ said Anderson. “Thank you, Joe.”

About Port Tampa Bay

Port Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest port and the largest economic engine in west central Florida, supporting nearly 85,000 jobs and generating over $17 billion in annual economic impact. In addition to being a top 10 U.S. cruise port, the port handles a wide array of bulk, break bulk, containers and roll-on/roll-off cargoes, and is a major shipbuilding and repair center. Port Tampa Bay was honored as 2016 Best Port Operator by Lloyd’s List. For more information, visit www.portTB.com.

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