The Port of Mobile completed the third phase of its container terminal expansion March 20, adding 400 feet to the container dock, and just three days later — for the first time ever — was able to handle two container ships at the same time.
With the berth extension, the Port can handle two 8,000- to 10,000-TEU ships at once. Extending the quay was part of a $50 million expansion of container facilities, the third phase of a 10-year project undertaken by the port in conjunction with terminal operator APM Terminals.
The Port is already equipped to handle super-size vessels now able to travel through the expanded Panama Canal, with 2 super post-Panamax and two post-Panamax ship-to-shore gantry cranes.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to begin work this year on deepening Mobile’s harbor to 50 feet. The work should be complete by 2024.
“We continue to seek out and implement innovation and world-class infrastructure to meet the needs of our carriers and shippers,” Jimmy Lyons, director and CEO of the Alabama State Port Authority, said in a written statement. “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.”
APM Terminals Mobile Managing Director Brian Harold added, “We are very excited to complete this project, which allows us to offer a significant increase in berthing windows to our customers. This expansion also enables us to offer improved capabilities to quickly service vessels that may arrive ahead of or behind schedule.”
The Port of Mobile handles more than 26 million tons of cargo annually. APM Terminals, part of the Denmark-based A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, operates a network of 78 terminals globally. Mobile’s Terminals see four weekly services from China and Southeast Asia.