Carver Companies maritime unit has signed a long-term agreement with the Port Manatee in Florida, US, to operate a marine terminal on lease at the port.

As part of the agreement, which will be valid for 20 years, including options, Carver Maritime will operate a ten-acre offloading facility at the port for lease payments of $1.8m in total for the first five years.

Carver Maritime will also pay wharfage payments for annual cargo throughputs under the agreement, which has been approved by the Manatee County Port Authority.

The company is also expected to create 30 jobs over the next three years, and increase commerce at the port.

Carver Companies president Carver Laraway said: “The projected growth of Central Florida and the business-friendly environment of Manatee County make us eager to call it home.

“It will provide a solid foundation for the company to enter a new, vibrant market to service its customer base and grow alongside other businesses in Manatee County.”

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Carver Maritime’s new Port Manatee terminal is equipped with a 1,400ft-long conveyor system, as well as truck loading facilities and deepwater access.

“The company is expected to create 30 jobs over the next three years, and increase commerce at the port.”

The terminal was previously occupied by Vulcan Materials and is expected to enable Carver to strengthen its core capabilities of aggregate supply, heavy construction and maritime operations.

It represents Carver Companies’ third maritime venture after the Port of Coeymans terminal and a facility in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Port Manatee executive director Carlos Buqueras said: “Carver provides a perfect addition to the diverse family of operations at Port Manatee.

Port Manatee, which is the closest US deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, currently comprises ten 40ft draft berths that cater to the container, bulk, breakbulk, heavy lift, project, and general cargo customers.