For the global economy to thrive, a stable supply chain network is imperative to provide control of the seamless flow of goods. What is detrimental to supply chain performance due to inconsistency can be costly and consequently cause out-of-stock items, deficient use of container storage capacity and faulty logistics planning. This feasibility study examined leadership decisions in the face of supply chain turbulence. The analysis introduces the congestion free SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, Florida. It establishes how this seaport could offer an alternative sea trade path to alleviate the supply chain strain since the U.S. will most likely continue to experience an increase in global trade instability. As the closest U.S. port to the Panama Canal, the study, in part, explores the significance of the canal as a primary conduit that allows Panamax and Neo-Panamax vessels expeditious transit from the West Coast to the Gulf Coast. Together with the new locks, the canal can handle ships with an overall length of 1200 feet, 160 feet wide (beam) and a draft of 40 feet. Consequently, not all vessels can travel through the Panama Canal regardless of its newly expanded locks (Rosenberg, 2019). The study also presents data to show how some cargo vessels sailing into Sea Port Manatee have a deep draft, which results in them being restricted by tidal ocean conditions. The draft is the minimum amount of water required to float the boat without it touching the bottom, allowing container vessels to successfully transport up to 15,000 (TEU) cargo containers through the canal. Catastrophic events such as natural disasters, a volatile political climate, and a health pandemic directly impact a company's business strategy. This study addresses the challenge for leadership to make decisions to relieve the congestion at U.S. West Coast ports. By engaging in conversations with vessel shipping lines, shipping lines could create new sea trade routes in exchange for inefficient routes between Asia and the U.S. West Coast. This study introduced how sea-level rise will significantly influence port expansion at Sea Port Manatee and how vessels entering and exiting the port must do so under specific conditions.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Marine terminals--Leadership; Business logistics; Cargo ships--handling--United States; Sea level--United States

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Eric Hamilton