The Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport has entered into a long-term lease and operating agreement with Ports America.
Back in September of 2022, the Port of Gulfport and Ports America entered a Letter of Intent outlining their mutual intent to work together to increase commerce at the port.
The resulting lease and operating agreement included a 20-year term with the option for two additional 10-year terms available to Ports America.
One major feature of the new deal is a $43 million investment from Ports America to develop the vacant Terminal 4 at the port into a cargo-handling terminal.
Ports America’s investment in the infrastructure and development of the Port of Gulfport, specifically Terminal 4, will drive an economic boost to the area according to the company.
The addition of new business at the Port of Gulfport is expected to result in more longshoreman hours for the local International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), an increase in throughput for the port, and new job opportunities for the community.
The partnership should also result in increased ship traffic and provide a basis for the port’s ongoing project to deepen and widen the channel.
This investment is in addition to Ports America’s recent acquisition of new cargo-handling equipment from Mississippi-based manufacturers, a new ship-to-shore crane, and surface improvements.
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“We have so many strategic advantages here at the Port of Gulfport, and this partnership will develop 38 acres of currently vacant land in Terminal 4, allowing for full utilisation of the asset,“ said Jon Nass, CEO and Executive Director of the Port of Gulfport.
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“Our investments into Gulfport will allow the port to meet its growing demands for infrastructure development, grow its status as a crucial marine terminal transportation hub that provides high-paying jobs for the state of Mississippi, and continue the parties’ long-standing commitment to their respective employees, the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), and the community,” added Matthew Leech, President and CEO of Ports America.
In May 2020, Ports America, Ceres Marine Terminals and SSA Atlantic formed a joint venture company to provide container terminal and stevedoring services at the Port of Charleston.
More recently in December 2022, it was announced that Ports America and MSC’s terminal arm, Terminal Investment Limited (TiL), will invest $800 million into a $1.8 billion container facility on the Lower Mississippi River.