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March marks third highest container volume on record for the Alabama Port Authority

The Alabama Port Authority marked its third-highest month in the history of the Port of Mobile’s container terminal.

The Port of Mobile
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Amidst a softening market, the Alabama Port Authority marked its third-highest month in the history of the Port of Mobile’s container terminal, moving 53,608 TEUs in March. This represents a 27 percent increase from the same period last year.

While global containerized cargo markets were routinely depressed by 15-20 percent over the past year, the Alabama Port Authority’s container operations maintained YOY performance, with 563,537 TEUs moved in 2023.

“The Port’s ability to have one of its best ever months while the rest of the market is experiencing headwinds is a testament to our strength,” said Alabama Port Authority Director & CEO John Driscoll. “Our connectivity and efficiency is second to none, and businesses around the world are taking notice. We are looking forward to additional success and opportunity for the customers we serve across Alabama, America, and the world.” 

Despite a softening market, the Port continues to see steady volumes and remains one of the fastest-growing container terminals in the U.S. The channel deepening project will make Mobile the deepest container port in the Gulf and is expected to be online next year. In anticipation of this increased capacity, the Port continues to invest not only in expanding the container terminal in Mobile but also in developing inland container transfer facilities (ICTFs) in Montgomery and Decatur.

“The Port of Mobile is continually investing to meet the evolving needs of the shipping community, serving as a vital gateway for trade and commerce,” said Chief Commercial Officer Beth Ann Branch. “The Port’s strategic location along the Gulf Coast, coupled with state-of-the-art facilities and an expansive network of rail connectivity, has positioned us as a preferred choice for domestic and international shipping operations.”

In the recently announced partnership with CSX, the Port expects the Decatur ICTF to serve customers within the next year. This facility will be the Port’s third intermodal transfer facility in Alabama and complete rail connectivity from the ICTF at the Port of Mobile to customers in the central and northern parts of the state.

Including the Montgomery and Decatur ICTFs, the Port currently has more than $1 billion in capital projects underway statewide. The Army Corps of Engineers is actively deepening the Mobile ship channel to 50 feet, and the Port Authority will expand its container terminal capacity to one million TEUs upon the completion of the Phase IV expansion. Other planned investments include constructing an interterminal connector bridge to create on-dock rail access at the container terminal, developing a logistics park, and modernizing general cargo piers. These projects are funded through federal budget appropriations and grants championed by former Senator Richard Shelby.

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A recent economic impact report showed that the Port of Mobile is responsible for $98.3 billion in annual economic impact and generates one in seven jobs statewide.

The Port of Mobile is strategically located in the northern Gulf of Mexico with access to an international airport and two interstate systems, I-65 running north/south and I-10 running east/west. The Mobile ICTF, which will be an on-dock facility by 2025, provides access to five Class I and four short-line railroads. From the ICTF in Mobile, containers can reach Chicago in three days.

The Alabama Port Authority serves all 67 counties in the state of Alabama and oversees the deep-water public port facilities at the Port of Mobile. In addition to interstate, air, and rail, the Port Authority’s container, general cargo, and bulk facilities have immediate access to nearly 15,000 miles of inland waterways. Once the channel deepening and widening project is completed, the Port of Mobile will be the deepest container terminal in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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