GIBSONTON — The recent opening of a 220,000-square-foot warehouse was a double win for phosphate giant Mosaic Co. Not only did it increase storage space for its many phosphate products but it also reduced transportation costs.
As far as County Commissioner Sandy Murman is concerned, that’s good for the county, which benefits economically from Mosaic’s presence in Gibsonton and its use of the Port of Tampa.
Murman’s legislative aide, Della Cury, was on hand for the April 10 dedication of the warehouse and presented a plaque to Mosaic officials to honor the company’s longtime service in the county.
The state-of-the-art warehouse is located at 12839 Wyandotte Road in Gibsonton at the Big Bend Marine Terminal, a 220-acre facility constructed in November 1975 to ship finished fertilizer and phosphate rock mined in Hillsborough County.
While the demand for phosphate products has increased over the past 40 years, space to store it before shipping it around the world had not, said Mosaic spokeswoman Christine Smith.
The new warehouse solves that problem by allowing Mosaic to store more than one product in a single warehouse, she said. Mosaic’s warehouses now provide storage capacity for more than 140,000 tons of finished phosphate products awaiting shipment. The site also continues to be used to ship rock to Mosaic’s Uncle Sam Facility in Louisiana.
In addition to increasing the company’s efficiency, the new warehouse provided 29 new jobs. Although fully automated, the facility requires a staff to operate the machines.
“By consolidating our warehousing and shipping facilities for raw and finished materials, Mosaic has further ensured the quality of our products and significantly reduced our overall transportation and terminal operating costs, improving our position in the global phosphate market,” said Rich Krakowski, Mosaic vice president.
Ron Kobosky, manager of port operations, and Joc O’Rourke, executive vice president of operations, both spoke at the dedication ceremony attended by 100 Mosaic and community representatives.
The girls chorus from Progress Village Middle Magnet School of the Arts was on hand to sing the “The Star Spangled Banner.”
D’Ann Lawrence White is a freelance writer who can be reached at [email protected]