Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey gives remarks as she joins with Alabama Port Authority to announce a new record economic impact for the state at the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, Ala. (Governor’s Office /Hal Yeager)
Ports & Terminals

Alabama Ports’ Economic Impact Nears $100 Billion

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Port Authority hosted an event February 1 highlighting the impact of the state’s deepwater port, the Port of Mobile, on the state’s economy. The report outlined the Port of Mobile’s 2022 economic impact, which totaled $98.3 billion, up close to $13 billion from the prior year.

The study found that the Port of Mobile had an economic impact on all 67 counties in Alabama, supporting more than 351,000 jobs, which amounts to one out of every seven jobs in the state. In 2022, the port accounted for $2.4 billion in taxes at the local, state and federal levels.

“While our Gulf Coast port might be called ‘the Port of Mobile,’ what the staggering economic impact number of $98 billion means is that it is really ‘the Port of Alabama,’” Ivey said. “Whether it’s our booming automotive industry, exports of natural resources such as coal and limestone, and countless other Alabama-made and Alabama-sourced goods, the Port of Mobile touches every corner and every industry in our state. The future is bright for our port, and I look forward to seeing its growth continue to contribute and impact all of Alabama.”

Martin Associates conducted the economic impact study, which examined both the Alabama Port Authority’s public facilities and the tenants operating within the port.

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The study identified containerized cargo as the biggest driver of the port’s growth of late. The port is undertaking phase four of building out its container terminal, which, upon completion, will bring its container-handling capability to 1 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year. The port also has plans to expand its intermodal container-handling capabilities in Mobile through a new flyover bridge, develop a logistics facility in Mobile, modernize the port’s McDuffie Coal Terminal and open an intermodal container transfer facility (ICTF), in partnership with CSX Transportation, in Montgomery, Ala. According to the port, those projects will come online over the next two years.

“Alabama’s port has had tremendous growth, and we’re just getting started,” said John Driscoll, director and CEO of the Alabama Port Authority. “These impact numbers show both the benefit of Alabama’s port to our entire state and the key role of state investments in helping achieve that growth. With more than $1 billion in capital projects underway, we expect this growth to continue, and more importantly, keep making Alabama businesses more competitive globally.”

Besides the intermodal facilities in Mobile and Montgomery, the Alabama Port Authority has announced plans for a third intermodal container transfer facility to be located in Decatur, Ala. Another partnership with CSX, the Decatur inland port will involve the redevelopment of an existing CSX facility.

“CSX is proud to be part of the strategic collaboration with the Alabama Port Authority in establishing the North Alabama ICTF in Decatur,” said Maryclare Kenney, vice president of intermodal and auto for CSX. “This project demonstrates our commitment to foster growth, connect markets and propel economic progress for the region. The facility’s strategic location improves multimodal flexibility throughout the state and creates sustainable, dynamic rail-to-truck transportation solutions for our customers. The North Alabama ICTF is a testament to CSX’s focus on delivering innovative, value-added solutions for our partners and stakeholders.”

According to the port, more than $2.28 billion in private investments have been announced for the Montgomery area in response to the intermodal container transfer facility planned for that area. By locating a new ICTF within north Alabama, the state’s fastest-growing region, the port and local stakeholders hope to see similar results.

“The partnership between the Alabama Port Authority and CSX Transportation to establish this facility in Decatur not only acknowledges our accomplishments but also signifies a momentous stride in shaping the trajectory of Decatur’s economic impact statewide,” Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling said. “The establishment of the North Alabama ICTF brings immense economic potential to Decatur and the entire north Alabama region, and I am thrilled to witness the realization of the North Alabama ICTF project in Decatur. This is a landmark achievement in bolstering our city’s economic vitality.”

Caption for photo: Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey gives remarks as she joins with Alabama Port Authority to announce a new record economic impact for the state at the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, Ala. (Governor’s Office /Hal Yeager)