Port of Mobile sets record for container shipping in July

[Stay on top of transportation news: Get TTNews in your inbox.]

The Alabama Port Authority set a new benchmark in July, moving more cargo containers than ever before, and port officials say Mobile’s performance in a time of supply chain turmoil is taking notice .

Over the past decade, the Port Authority and APM Terminals, which operates Mobile’s container terminal, have steadily expanded the Mobile Terminal, making it one of the fastest growing in the country. The Port Authority announced on August 15 that in July it broke 50,000 20ft equivalent units in a month for the first time since the container terminal opened in 2009.

In July 2022, the port experienced a growth of 35.8% for dry and refrigerated freight compared to July 2021 and a growth of 185.7% for intermodal freight.

Container terminal expansion plans have included the addition of newer and larger cranes; additional storage space for containers; and a quay extension allowing two 1,000 foot vessels to dock at the same time. The US Army Corps of Engineers is working on a project to deepen the Mobile Ship Channel, which will allow larger ships to transit through Mobile Bay. When completed, vessels carrying up to 14,000 TEUs will be able to unload at Mobile.

Meanwhile, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the country’s largest ports have struggled to keep up with demand. This has caused delays for container ships forced to wait offshore before unloading at these ports.

MORE ABOUT PORTS: Los Angeles, Long Beach Hail Supply Chain Progress

“We speak daily with shippers who are actively shifting their supply chain to the Port of Mobile because their bottom line depends on it,” said Port Authority Chief Commercial Officer Beth Branch. “We are here to help companies reduce the landed cost of their goods and provide reliability.”

“The Port of Mobile is open for business,” Port Authority Director and CEO John C. Driscoll said. “This growth shows that Mobile is a top choice for shippers looking to avoid congestion and delays by moving their cargo quickly and efficiently. As we envision increased capacity and a deeper and wider shipping channel, the Port of Mobile will continue to build on this success for the state.

According to information released Aug. 15 by the Port Authority, cargo unloaded in Mobile can be in Chicago two days later, and turnaround times for trucks carrying containerized cargo are “well below industry average.” “.

Container volume for 2022 so far is over 312,000 TEUs, 12% higher than the same period in 2021. The port authority said it expects total traffic of more than 500,000 TEUs in 2022. In May, the Port Authority and APM Terminals agreed on the next stage of expansion. The $104 million project will develop an additional 32 acres of land, some of which will be artificial. The project will increase the capacity of the container terminal to one million TEUs per year by 2025.

Working with state railroads and partners, the port is also working to improve rail connections that will allow container freight to move upstate by rail. One project, the Alabama-US Corridor, will allow containers to move from the port to the Birmingham area and points north; another concerns the construction of a container depot in Montgomery.