Port Tampa Bay encourages ships to ‘Sound Off’ their horns next week to celebrate National Maritime Day

- Port Tampa Bay will participate in the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) Sound Off for National Maritime Day initiative next week. The event will commemorate National Maritime Day during the workweek of May 18-22. To mark the occasion, Port Tampa Bay, along with vessels in harbors and at berth throughout the hemisphere, will sound their horns or whistles four times at noon each day from May 18 to May 22. The tribute recognizes the mariners, the maritime industry, ports and their workforces, for the role they play in COVID-19 response and recovery, supply chain continuity and long-term economic stability as they work to move goods across the globe. This year’s National Maritime Day theme, Sound Off for National Maritime Day, focuses on the current COVID-19 global pandemic response and recovery effort.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Port Tampa Bay has remained open to serve our community and region. Port Tampa Bay is by far Florida’s largest port, handling over 37 million tons of cargo per year. Additionally, Port Tampa Bay is the most diversified port in Florida (and one of the most diversified in the nation) handling all major cargo categories, including liquid bulk, dry bulk, break-bulk, containers, cruise, and ship-building and repair.

“Port Tampa Bay, and our entire port community, has worked tirelessly during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep a variety of goods moving through the port to support retail stores, construction projects and the overall economy,” explained Paul Anderson, Port Tampa Bay President and CEO. “Most people are unaware of the impact seaports have on their daily lives. Ninety-five percent of goods and services used in the United States travel through a seaport, like Port Tampa Bay.”

According to IHS Markit’s GTA Forecasting, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere seaports in 2018 totaled nearly 4.2 billion metric tons in volume and $3.7 trillion in value. Of that combined total, U.S. seaports handled 1.01 billion metric tons of international trade valued at $1.95 trillion.

“Port workers and their logistics partners are laboring around the clock to keep us all supplied with vital consumer goods, medical equipment, energy and raw materials,” said Chris Connor, AAPA president and CEO. “While taking all necessary precautions against spreading the virus themselves, our maritime workforce continues to deliver vital goods and services, ship exports, and connect farmers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers to the global marketplace.”

Between May 18 and May 22, Port Tampa Bay will be spreading community awareness about the Sound Off for National Maritime Day event on the port’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn pages. We are encouraging the community to use the hashtags #NationalMaritimeDay, #SoundOff and #SeaportsDeliver to join in on the celebration on social media in observance of National Maritime Day.