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Port of Manatee's Newest Tool - The Green Express


PALMETTO, FL. -- The Green Express will easily live up to its motto: Faster-Greener-Fresher-Safer. That's true because most of its cargo is perishables and headed for the fast lane. If all goes well; refrigerated warehouses are equipped, rail gets taken to them and the Tiger 3 grant comes through for Port Manatee, southern hemisphere fruit and vegetables will be two to four days closer to nearly 90 million people in America.

Time is money, but that's not all it is. When it comes to passion fruit, or guavas, and even pineapples, when you pick it to when you eat it, time can be oh-lala. Not all produce can be picked green (early so to ripen in transport) or have a shelf life of many days or weeks. So when a network of direct transport eliminates much of the waiting and miles the product must travel opens, opportunities abound. Port Manatee and the Green Express is putting just that together.

No longer will ships have to go down around the southern peninsula of Florida and up the East Coast to Jacksonville, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, only to have the cargo unloaded and trucked to stops north and west. There's two to three days longer spent on the water and a day or two longer on land then if it goes from Panama straight to Port Manatee and put right on a rail straight up to Indiana. 

The Green Express is: Competitive Market Advantages Through Efficient Transportation. It takes three to four trucks off the road for every rail car, equating to hundreds to a thousand miles of truck travel, and it will get there sooner. That saves fuel, time, equipment, carbon and wear and tear on highways. 

The increase in product creates more jobs because there still needs the same amount of handlers at each end, just the costly long haul on the water and the trucking is greatly reduced. More product, more trucks, shorter trips, and a tremendous amount of fuel is saved.  

There is still much to be done, but Port Manatee and Green Express are working on it. The first shipments will be pulling out of the station August, 2012. All aboard the Green Express!


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