An enormous shiploader and the biggest ship ever have made headlines at the Port of Mobile this fall. The $7.35 million shiploader arrived at the port Oct. 20 and is slated to unload its first ship in early December. The shiploader is 154 feet high with an operating reach of 106 feet and can load coal at 4, 500 tons an hour. It’s a key element of a $10 million improvement project at the port’s McDuffie Coal Terminal.
Just a few weeks later, the biggest ship ever to call at the Port of Mobile docked. Post-Panamax sized at 8, 400 TEU, 1, 096 feet long with a 141-foot beam, the MSC Texas made its first call as part of Mediterranean Shipping’s service between the Gulf Coast and Northern Europe. Port improvements to create a 45-foot channel and turning basin to accommodate ships up to 1, 200 feet allow much larger ships to call, said Port Director Jimmy Lyons.