Ivey designates ‘The Port of Alabama’ as it delivers a $98.3 billion economic impact

In 2023, the Port of Mobile demonstrated an increasingly significant economic influence on Alabama, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. A study conducted by the Alabama Port Authority revealed that it contributed to a remarkable $98.3 billion economic impact for the state.

The impact of 2023 is expected to increase by a staggering $13 billion compared to the previous year.

Governor Ivey stood on the steps of the State Capitol on Thursday and emphasized that although our Gulf Coast port is known as ‘The Port of Mobile,’ the significant economic impact of $98 billion truly makes it ‘The Port of Alabama.’

“The Port of Mobile plays a crucial role in Alabama’s economy, leaving its mark on various sectors and industries throughout the state. From the thriving automotive industry to the export of valuable natural resources like coal and limestone, as well as the production of numerous Alabama-made goods, the port’s impact is felt in every corner of our state.”

“I am excited to witness the continued growth and impact of our port, as it holds a promising future for Alabama.”

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Forbes recently reported that Alabama’s Port of Mobile has been recognized as the second fastest-growing port in the United States.

The Port sustains 351,359 job opportunities in Alabama, accounting for one out of every 7 jobs in the state. This translates to a staggering $22.5 billion in income for residents across all 67 counties.

Senator Greg Reed (R-Jasper), the President Pro Tem of the Alabama Senate, describes the Port as a thriving economic powerhouse that continues to expand with each passing day.

“The coal industry in Alabama and the Port of Mobile are closely connected, as coal is one of the port’s major exports and my district happens to be the state’s leading coal producer,” stated Reed.

“I am a strong advocate for the port and its mission, and I am delighted, though not surprised, to witness the remarkable economic influence it has on our wonderful state.”

Alabama State House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter, who resides in North Alabama, a few hours away from Mobile, acknowledges the impact of the Port in his district.

“My home district may be far from the Port of Mobile geographically, but its impact on my district, as well as the districts of my fellow members in the Alabama House, is undeniable,” Ledbetter stated. He emphasized the importance of investing in the Port and highlighted the remarkable returns it has brought to the state. Ledbetter believes that supporting this economic engine is crucial for the continued success of Alabama.”

The Port Authority leadership is expecting even more rapid growth in the future.

In a recent visit to the Port of Mobile, Senator Reed emphasized the remarkable progress and development taking place at the port.

“Alabama’s port has experienced significant growth, and our journey is far from over,” expressed John Driscoll, Director and CEO of the Alabama Port Authority. “These figures highlight not only the tremendous advantage our port brings to the entire state but also emphasize the crucial role of state investments in driving this remarkable expansion.”

“We anticipate the growth to persist as we have over $1 billion invested in ongoing capital projects. This not only ensures the continued expansion but also enhances the global competitiveness of businesses in Alabama.”

The Port is currently undertaking capital projects statewide, with a total investment of over $1 billion. These projects are largely funded through federal budget appropriations and grants, thanks to the efforts of former Senator Richard Shelby.

The completion of the Phase IV expansion at the container terminal will enable the Port Authority to enhance its capabilities, accommodating up to one million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit cargo container). Alongside this terminal expansion, the Alabama Port Authority has also undertaken the harbor deepening and widening project. Furthermore, the Port Authority aims to establish logistics facilities in Mobile and introduce a new inland intermodal facility in Montgomery, Ala., which will be conveniently served by CSX.

In the coming two years, these projects will commence operations, delivering fresh advantages and opportunities for shippers.

The Port of Mobile has outlined several upcoming investments aimed at improving its infrastructure and expanding its capabilities. Among these plans is the construction of a fly-over bridge, which will provide on-dock rail access at the container terminal. Additionally, the port intends to modernize its general cargo piers and establish an inland intermodal facility in North Alabama.

In a show of commitment to these improvements, the Alabama State Legislature has allocated $20 million in 2023 specifically for the modernization of the Port’s McDuffie Coal Terminal. These investments will not only enhance the port’s efficiency and capacity but also position it as a key player in the region’s transportation and logistics industry.

The Port and its related industries contributed a total of $2.4 billion in taxes to the state, local governments, and the federal government in 2022.

Austen Shipley works as a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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