TAMPA — Port Tampa Bay is set to sign a sister port agreement with the Port of Barranquilla of Colombia on Tuesday.
The two top officials of each port — Port Tampa Bay CEO Paul Anderson and Port of Barranquilla President René Puche — will hold a 10 a.m. news conference on Tuesday in Tampa to discuss the new memorandum of understanding.
The agreement is part of Anderson's strategy for Port Tampa Bay to grab a bigger share of the imports and exports that flow between the U.S. and the nations of Central and South America. The agreement "essentially strengthens commercial relationships between the two ports and encourages shared trade and marketing initiatives," according to Port Tampa Bay.
Barranquilla is one of Tampa's sister cities. When Gov. Rick Scott led a trade mission to Colombia in 2012, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and a delegation of about 30 Tampa Bay business leaders headed to Barranquilla to meet with their counterparts there.
The Port of Barranquilla is the largest Colombian port along the Caribbean Sea and is privately run by the Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Barranquilla. It uses the Magdalena River to deliver cargo into the interior of Colombia.
Port Tampa Bay is Florida's largest cargo port by tonnage, handles 854,000 cruise ship passengers annually and hopes to expand its share of the global cargo container market.