Port of Gulfport
An international seaport, the Port of Gulfport is 18 miles from the open Gulf of Mexico and is close to the Gulf Inter-Coastal Waterway. It can handle about 250 vessels. Annual volume is over 2.5 million tons, making the facility the U.S. Gulf’s third busiest container port, and the second busiest importer of green fruit in the nation. In 2015, it handled over $1.4 billion in imports and more than $694 million in exports. The Gulfport/Biloxi Foreign Trade Zone is near the facility’s customs port of entry.
Gulfport is also one of 17 ports in the country designated as a Strategic Port. At 300 acres, it has a total of 10 berths that range from 525 to 750 feet. The North Harbor is 32 feet deep, and the South Harbor and Turning Basin are at a depth of 36 feet. There is also a 300-foot wide channel that is maintained at 36 feet deep and runs for about 16 miles.
Facilities also include:
- East Pier Terminal with two warehouses (Shed 50, a 230,000-gross square foot building, and shed 53, at 60,240 gross square feet), rail access, and three berths.
- West Pier Terminal with one, 104,260 gross square foot warehouse with a dry pipe sprinkler system and connection to rail.
- 110 acres of open storage space, mostly for dry and refrigerated containers.
- Special purpose ramp for roll on, roll off vessels.
- Two 100-ton capacity mobile harbor cranes.
Gulfport is linked to U.S. transportation infrastructures with Class 1 rail service from the Kansas City Southern Railway Company. Also, I-10 is five miles to the north while trucks and other vehicles have direct access to Highway 49 and 75 percent of the U.S. market in under a day. The port’s primary carriers include the Dole Fresh Fruit Company, Great White Fleet, and Crowley Maritime. A high volume of refrigerated commodities is shipped through this complex, including fresh produce and frozen poultry, and containerized cargo with apparel, cotton, automobiles, lubricants, construction supplies, and machinery for road construction. Bulk commodities such as ilmenite ore and crushed limestone are as well.
Safety Hazards at Maritime Ports
Busy ports are full of hazards that can cause serious injuries and fatalities. Operating cranes, forklifts, tugs, and other equipment can be dangerous. Lifting gear and attachments can fail, causing cargo to topple or fall, but sprains and musculoskeletal injuries are possible from manual handling as well. Workers also need to be diligent with ensuring fixtures and fittings are secured before cargo is lifted.
Handling ropes and winches come with dangers, and employees must always be careful when mooring a vessel to a dock, working at heights, or while in transport. Vehicular accidents are some common causes of incidents at port facilities. The risks increase when vehicles aren’t maintained properly, but poor communication, a lack of traffic management, and pedestrians on roadways create dangers too. Slips, trips, and falls are a common cause of serious injuries.
Contact us via the online form on our website if you’ve been hurt on the job at Gulfport, and we’ll provide information on what your entitlements may be.