Port Improvements Continue in Mobile
The Alabama Port Authority completed its 400-foot container dock extension at the APM Terminals Mobile facility on March 20, and three days later, the terminal for the first time simultaneously handled two containerships at the newly expanded berth.
Part of Alabama’s seaport modernization program to accommodate larger vessels, the berth extension enables two x 8,000-10,000 TEU be handled simultaneously. The quay extension was part of a $50 million Phase 3 expansion that increased terminal capacity and productivity at the 10-year old APM Terminals Mobile intermodal container complex at the Port of Mobile.
The 1,096-foot Belita and the 856-foot Cosco Santo utilized about 2,100 feet of berth on the newly finished quay. With weekly Post-Panamax containership calls at the APM Terminals-operated facility, the Port Authority quickly invested to remove possible vessel berth conflicts at the terminal. The dock enhancement project also beefed up the mooring and fender systems to accommodate Super Post-Panamax vessels. The terminal is already equipped with two Super Post-Panamax and two Post-Panamax ship-to-shore gantry cranes to service the larger container class vessels already calling the port.
The APM Terminals Mobile Phase 3 modernization project complements prior investments by the Alabama State Port Authority and APM Terminals totaling $450 million in marine and rail container intermodal terminals. Investments to date will soon be enhanced by the recent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued permit and receipt of full federal and state funding to take the Mobile Harbor to -50 feet draft by 2024. Construction on the channel and harbor improvements is expected to begin later this year.
“We continue to seek out and implement innovation and world class infrastructure to meet the needs of our carriers and shippers,” said Jimmy Lyons, director and chief executive officer for the Alabama State Port Authority. “We’re very pleased with both carrier and shipper confidence in our program as they continue to introduce larger ships, add capacity and increase volumes through the port.”
Brian Harold, Managing Director of APM Terminals Mobile said the expansion project allows the terminal to offer a significant increase in berthing windows to customers. “This expansion also enables us to offer improved capabilities to quickly service vessels that may arrive ahead-of, or behind schedule,” he added.
The new dock also creates room for more cranes to be added in the future. Other recent improvements include an expanded outbound gate (from four to six lanes) and an expanded Intermodal Rail Facility (by 10 acres).
Across the street from the terminal, a nearly 300,000 square foot refrigerated warehouse facility, is being built by MCT Logistics and is aimed for completion later this year.
APM Terminals Mobile currently has four direct all-water weekly services from Asia, calling various ports in China and Southeast Asia; three of them make direct calls in Busan as well. The facility handled 419,316 TEU in 2019.