April 21 - Port Manatee has extended its agreement with World Direct Shipping to maintain its weekly service between the Florida Gulf Coast port and the Mexican state of Veracruz, for up to five more years.

Since the service started in November 2014, the weekly World Direct Shipping service has carried increasing volumes of refrigerated produce from Mexico while departing from Port Manatee with paper, recycled materials and oversized cargoes.

Under the new agreement, the service will run until at least December 31, 2019, with a pair of one-year options extending through until the end of 2021.

To date, World Direct Shipping has moved nearly 300,000 tons (272,155 tonnes) of cargo through Port Manatee. In July 2016, it deployed the Queen B to accommodate steadily growing trade.