Alabama’s seaport modernization program remains on track to meet shipper demand and accommodate new vessel services. In keeping with their commitments to service and efficiency, the Alabama Port Authority and APM Terminals inked a deal to add container capacity at the Port of Mobile. Under the agreement, the Port Authority and APM Terminals will add 32 acres to the existing 134-acre facility bringing the facility’s annual throughput capacity to one million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs).
These improvements mark the fourth time the Alabama Port Authority and APM Terminals have expanded the container terminal since its opening in October 2008. The new $104 million Phase IV expansion program adds a new sheet pile wall on the north side of the terminal to facilitate the filling of approximately 13 acres of man-made water-bottoms generating new land. The project will also develop another 19 acres adjacent to the water-bottoms generating a combined yard of 32 acres. The first 19 acres are expected to be completed in 2024, and the 13 acres are expected to be completed by early 2025.
The Alabama Port Authority and its operator, APM Terminals, will partner in the delivery of the project with APM Terminals committed to install two new ship-to-shore super post-panamax cranes totaling $30 million. Currently, the container terminal is equipped to simultaneously dock two 14,000 TEU vessels and four gantry cranes (2 x super post-panamax, 2 post-panamax). The Port Authority will undertake $74 million in land improvements.
The Alabama Port Authority released its April 2022 container volumes through the Port of Mobile showing a 39.7 percent increase over April 2021 volumes. The port’s container intermodal transfer facility posted 112.6 percent growth in April compared to April 2021 volumes handled, and refrigerated cargo also maintained its double-digit growth, posting a 57.9 percent gain over April 2021 volumes.
The Phase 4 expansion project is timely as the Port Authority launches other container intermodal-related projects at the Port of Mobile and in Montgomery, Ala. In March this year, the Port Authority was awarded $67.3 million through the FY2022 Omnibus Appropriations Act for intermodal and freight rail infrastructure improvements. Proceeds from that award will fund a joint venture between the Port Authority and CSX Transportation to construct by 2024 an inland intermodal transfer facility (ICTF) at Montgomery, Ala. This $58 million project provides regional intermodal shippers rapid transit to and from the Port of Mobile and is expected to take 28-36 months to complete.
The Port Authority was also recently awarded $38 million, under a U.S. Department of Transportation multimodal demonstration program grant, to construct an interterminal connector at the container terminal. The project connects the marine terminal to the nearby intermodal container transfer facility (ICTF) and logistics park by early 2025. Funding under this grant will also be invested in site improvements at the adjacent logistics park.
Another key project will soon take the Mobile Harbor to -50 feet draft by early 2025. The Mobile Ship Channel deepening and widening is under phased construction with the entrance channel completed earlier this year. The 50-foot draft federal channel will allow neo-panamax sized vessels up to 14,000 TEU to fully load. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the State of Alabama have fully funded the $366 million harbor modernization program.
“We have a great partner in APM Terminals and incredible community support to further world class infrastructure for our carriers and shippers,” said John C. Driscoll, director and chief executive officer of the Alabama Port Authority. “This added capacity will allow our port to keep pace with demand and maintain fluidity and service for our customers.”
“APM Terminals is extremely excited by this next step. This is our third expansion in six years, which underscores the high level of demand by the shipping community to utilize the Mobile gateway,” said Brian Harold, Managing Director of APM Terminals Mobile. “We have high growth aspirations for our Mobile facility and this next infrastructure improvement will help ensure that we meet those expectations in full.”
The Alabama Port Authority oversees the deep-water public seaport facilities at the Port of Mobile. The Alabama Port Authority’s container, general cargo and bulk facilities have immediate access to two interstate systems, five Class 1 railroads, and nearly 15,000 miles of inland waterways. Learn more atwww.ALPorts.com or at www.facebook.com/AlabamaStatePortAuth/
APM Terminals operates one of the world’s most comprehensive port networks focused on delivering operational excellence and supply chain efficiency, flexibility, and dependability. Part of the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group, APM Terminals operates 76 terminals globally, and in 2021 carried out 12.8 million container moves – 11.3 percent more than in 2020. Learn more at www.apmterminals.com or on Twitter at twitter.com/APMTerminals