Ports & Terminals

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.

Sign up for Waterway Journal's weekly newsletter.Our weekly newsletter delivers the latest inland marine news straight to your inbox including breaking news, our exclusive columns and much more.

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.