APM Terminals (APMT) Mobile has simultaneously handled two container ships for the first time, thanks to the completion of a 400 ft container dock extension.
Three days after the extension was completed, the BELITA with a length overall (LOA) of 1,096 ft and the COSCO SANTOS with a LOA of 856 ft utilised about 2,100 ft of berth on the newly finished quay.
The berth now enables two 8,000 to 10,000 teu vessels to be safely and easily handled simultaneously.
Brian Harold, managing director of APMT Mobile, said: “We are very excited to complete this project which allows us to offer a significant increase in berthing windows to our customers.
“This expansion also enables us to offer improved capabilities to quickly service vessels that may arrive ahead-of or behind schedule.”
With weekly Post-Panamax container ship calls at the APMT facility, the Alabama Port Authority quickly invested to remove possible berth conflicts at the terminal.
Additionally, the dock enhancement project also beefed up the mooring and fender systems to accommodate Super Post-Panamax vessels.
The terminal is already equipped with two Super-Post Panamax and two Post-Panamax ship-to-shore (STS) gantry cranes to service the larger container vessels, with the new dock capable of housing more cranes in the future.
Other improvements included an expanded outbound gate (from four to six lanes) and an expanded Intermodal Rail Facility (by ten acres).
The quay extension was encompassed within a US$50m Phase 3 expansion to increase terminal capacity and productivity at the 10-year old intermodal container complex at the Port of Mobile.
It is part of Alabama’s seaport modernisation programme to meet shipper demand and accommodate larger vessels.
APMT Mobile’s phase 3 modernisation project complements prior investments by the Alabama State Port Authority and APMT totalling US$350m in marine and rail container intermodal terminals.
Investments to date will soon be enhanced by the recent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued permit and receipt of full federal and state funding to take the Mobile harbour to -50 ft draft by 2024.
Construction on the channel and harbour improvements is expected to begin later this year.
Across the street from APMT Mobile a nearly 300,000 sq ft refrigerated warehouse facility is being built by MCT Logistics and is aimed for completion later this year.
Jimmy Lyons, director and chief executive officer for the Alabama State Port Authority, said: “We continue to seek out and implement innovation and world class infrastructure to meet the needs of our carriers and shippers.
“We’re very pleased with both carrier and shipper confidence in our programme as they continue to introduce larger ships, add capacity and increase volumes through the port.”