Alabama Port Authority Inks Concession Deal With Auto Terminal Operator
The Alabama State Port Authority (ASPA) signed a concession agreement January 22 with AutoMOBILE International Terminal (AIT) for the operation of the Port of Mobile’s forthcoming automobile roll on/roll off (RO/RO) terminal. The $60 million terminal is expected to come online in early 2021.
AIT is a joint venture between Terminal Zarate S.A., which is headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Neltume Ports, based in Santiago, Chile.
“We’re extremely pleased to see these world-class services companies invest in both our region and our port,” said James K. Lyons, director and CEO of ASPA. “AIT’s investment will create a new U.S. gateway for shipping finished automobiles for both U.S. and global manufacturing and consumer markets.”
The new 57-acre RO/RO terminal is located on ASPA’s main port multimodal complex and, when complete, will have an annual throughput of 150,000 units. The automobile terminal has access to 40-foot-deep Mobile Harbor and is served by five Class I railroads, with connections to the interstate and highway systems.
The Deep South has become a center of automobile manufacturing, with Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Kia, Hyundai, Mazda, Toyota, Nissan and Honda operating in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. The newest plant, a combined Mazda and Toyota manufacturing facility, in Huntsville, Ala., is slated to come online in early 2021.