GULFPORT, Miss. – Deputy Secretary of Transportation Polly Trottenberg visited the Port of Gulfport on Monday afternoon, as part of a tour that included southern cities like Gulfport and New Orleans.
The Port of Gulfport is a deep-water seaport strategically located on the Gulf of Mexico that handles approximately 330 deep draft vessels and over 200,000 TEUs on an annual basis. With Class 1 rail access on the dock and a 5-mile-transit to I-10, the Port is readily available to service nearly any type of cargo, with access to a majority of the United States market.
The Deputy Secretary’s visit comes at a time when supply chain shortages and congestion at cargo points of entry are at the forefront of many conversations surrounding transportation and logistics. It’s a topic that she’s ready to address. “I had a great visit with Port of Gulfport leaders, labor representatives, and industry partners today to discuss supply chain and opportunities for Federal partnership. Through the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re putting $17 billion into improving infrastructure at ports such as the one here in Gulfport,” said Deputy Secretary Trottenberg.
Jon Nass, CEO & Executive Director of the Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport provided an overview of the Port of Gulfport facilities and infrastructure, giving a firsthand look at one link of the supply chain in action. “We are pleased to welcome Deputy Secretary Trottenberg to the Port of Gulfport and showcase our modern facilities and resources as a key component in the supply chain,” said Nass. “We’re proud to be recognized as a strategic gateway for cargo with the potential for continued growth and development, and we look forward to discussing the ways that dredging for a deeper channel will help us fulfill that potential.”
Darius Johnson, President of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local #1303 joined the tour, highlighting the importance of a dedicated and capable workforce. The ILA has a long history of providing labor for the Port, with many members representing generations of hard work and dedication to keeping cargo moving efficiently at the Port of Gulfport. “It is an honor to have Deputy Secretary Trottenberg visit the Port of Gulfport,” said Johnson. “We hope this will provide opportunities for potential funding for the Port made available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This sort of funding would provide more jobs and opportunities for the longshoremen of Local #1303, allowing the ILA to continue to assist schools, churches, organizations, and citizens along the Gulf Coast.“
The Secretary’s visit included a driving tour of the Port of Gulfport, with transportation offered courtesy of Coastal Transit Authority. Port staff offered several opportunities to get a closer look at the port’s daily operations involving the ILA, including visiting active warehouses and terminals, speaking with tenants, and seeing firsthand the advantages Gulfport has to offer.