Alabama State Port Authority Celebrates 85th Year

JOC Staff | Jun 26, 2013, 11:22 AM EDT

June 25, 2013, Mobile, Ala. – Alabama’s public seaport terminals at Mobile marked its 85th year today and is looking good. Officially dedicated on this date in 1928, the then named “Alabama State Docks” handled its first loads of export sugar, coal and forest products. Today, the Alabama State Port Authority’s terminals still handle forest products and coal, but automotive components, poultry, and steel also dominate the landscape supporting over 127,591 direct and related user jobs and contributing $18.7 billion in economic impact.

Much of the seaport’s cargo diversity and growth in the last decade is attributed to business generated by over $700 million in capital investments at the public terminals and in the federal channel. “Our capital programs have transformed this seaport’s ability to handle Post-Panamax sized ships, diversify its cargo base, attract industrial investment statewide, and generate jobs,” said James K. Lyons, director and chief executive officer for the Alabama State Port Authority. “With continued investment in intermodal and transportation infrastructure, I can see these figures only getting bigger,” said Lyons.

Anchors down. Economy up. In 2012, the Port Authority’s containerized, steel and export coal volumes all posted significant growth. Containerized freight held the largest gain with 22 percent increase over 2011 volumes, while steel volumes gained eight percent and export coal volumes grew by five percent. And growth is projected to continue with planned investments in intermodal rail, warehousing and terminal upgrades to expand capacity and market reach. “Our lead project is the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility that will provide by 2015 an intermodal rail option to our shippers in North Alabama, Tennessee and surrounding states,” said Lyons. “We just keep plowing earnings back into our facilities, so that we not only attract more investment and jobs to the region, but provide infrastructure to keep American manufacturing globally competitive. That’s what our business is all about.”

The Alabama State Port Authority owns and operates the State of Alabama’s public, deep-water port facilities at the Port of Mobile and handled over 25 million tons of cargo in fiscal year 2012. The Authority’s container, general cargo and bulk facilities have immediate access to two interstate systems, five Class 1 railroads, and nearly 15,000 miles of inland waterway connections. Learn more at or on Facebook at