The Alabama Port Authority completed its 400-ft. 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. The projects are part of Alabama’s seaport modernization program, aimed at meeting shipper demand and accommodating larger vessels.
The berth extension now enables two 8,000- 10,000-TEU ships to be safely and easily handled simultaneously. The quay extension was part of a $50 million expansion that increased terminal capacity and productivity at the 10-year old APM intermodal container complex at the Port of Mobile.
The 1,096′ Belita and the 856′ Cosco Santos utilized about 2,100 ft. of berth at the newly finished quay. With weekly post-Panamax containership calls at the APM Terminals-operated facility, the port 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 completed project complements prior investments by the Alabama State Port Authority and APM 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 a 50′ 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,” Jimmy Lyons, director and chief executive officer for the Alabama State Port Authority, said in a statement announcing the construction milestone. “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.”
The new dock is also capable of housing more cranes — which allows 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-sq.-ft. refrigerated warehouse facility is being built by MCT Logistics and is aimed for completion later this year.
APM 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 TEUs in 2019.