The Mississippi State Port Authority has entered into a long-term lease and operating agreement with Ports America, the US largest terminal operator and stevedore.
The Port of Gulfport and Ports America have a long-standing relationship, with Ports America acting as a licensed stevedore at the Port since 2006.
In September of 2022, the Port of Gulfport and Ports America entered into a Letter of Intent outlining their mutual intent to cooperate to increase commerce at the Port of Gulfport.
Based on that Letter of Intent, the resulting lease and operating deal includes a 20-year term with the option for two additional 10-year terms available to Ports America.
One major feature of the deal is a US$43 million investment from Ports America to develop the vacant Terminal 4 at the Port into a cargo-handling terminal.
This includes a new ship-to-shore crane and surface improvements, while this investment is in addition to Ports America’s recent acquisition of new cargo-handling equipment from Mississippi-based manufacturers.
The partnership is expected to increase cargo throughput, boost ship traffic and provide a basis for the Port’s ongoing project to deepen and widen the channel.
“We have so many strategic advantages here at the Port of Gulfport, and this partnership will develop approximately 153,780 meters of currently vacant land in Terminal 4, allowing for full utilisation of the asset,” noted Jon Nass, CEO & executive director of the Port of Gulfport.