Port of Mobile: Port Report
The logistics industry would be nothing without shipping ports providing a gateway around the world for goods. Each of these ports is unique, an important piece of the complex puzzle that is global distribution. To highlight the value each of these ports brings to the table, we present Port Report. This weekly series shares some […]

by | Sep 16, 2022

The logistics industry would be nothing without shipping ports providing a gateway around the world for goods. Each of these ports is unique, an important piece of the complex puzzle that is global distribution. To highlight the value each of these ports brings to the table, we present Port Report. This weekly series shares some of the history behind shipping ports around the world. This week, we discuss the Port of Mobile, one of the world’s fastest-growing ports.

Located in Mobile, Alabama, the Port of Mobile is the United States’ 9th-largest port by tonnage. The port has experienced exponential growth, and in 2022 is on-track for a record-setting year.

Port of Mobile – History

Port of Mobile Aerial View over water
Port of Mobile Aerial View

The Port of Mobile began life as a French colony, its name coming from the indigenous Mobilian tribe of Mobile Bay. The port was the first capital of French Louisiana in 1702 when a pair of French Canadian brothers sought to establish control over the area’s claims.

The Port of Mobile continued to play a major role as a trade center over the next two centuries. Yellow Fever first arrived in the United States at the port, and the first submarine to sink an enemy ship was also built in the port during the civil war. At the dawn of the 20th century, the expansion of the port’s infrastructure began.

Shortly before World War 1, the port’s shipping channels were deepened as part of efforts to improve its overall infrastructure. The infrastructure saw further improvements after the War, due to the increased economic importance of manufacturing, ship-building, and steel production. During and after the second World War, the port became more important than ever as the Port was one of only 18 cities in the United States that produced Liberty war ships. Source

Today

The growth of the Port of Mobile has been exponential, and today it holds the honor of being the largest Break Bulk Forest Products Port in the United States. Additionally, it contains the largest import coal terminal, and was the fourth largest exporter of coal in 2012. The port has undergone nearly $500 million in improvements since 2000 to better serve its commodities. Source

Tomorrow

Cranes at the Port of Mobile
Cranes at the Port of Mobile

On September 12, 2022, the Alabama Port authority announced that its container volumes are on track for a record year. With 364,687 TEUs moved year-to-date, the container terminal is tracking more than 10% above its 2021 numbers.

“As one of the newest, most modern container terminals in the United States, APM Terminals is proud to partner with the Port of Mobile to deliver for the State of Alabama, the region, and the world,” said Brian Harold, Managing Director at APM Terminals Mobile.

This growth may be at risk, though, as a major freight railroad strike looms on the horizon. While the terminal experienced the busiest month in its history for containerized cargo in July, the strike could slow down movement of products through the ports significantly. For now, only time will tell if the Port of Mobile will continue its growth and expansion.

Can’t get enough Port Report? Click here to check out last week’s edition, about The Port of NY/NJ!

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