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Port of Mobile, Alabama

The Port of Mobile, Alabama, is located on the Mobile River, which empties into the Gulf of Mexico. It is a deep water port, the only one in Alabama. In 2008 it was ranked as the 9th largest in the country having a trade volume of 67,635,501 tons. It is located just over 50 miles from Biloxi, Mississippi and 60 miles from Pensacola, Florida. It is managed by the Alabama State Port Authority (ASPA). Major imports and exports are coal, containers, metals, lumber, chemicals, and soybeans.


Mobile has been an industrial and commercial center for hundreds of years. During the early part of the 1800s wharves, terminals and warehouses were added, making it a viable transportation center, particularly for exports. At the time, cotton was the major crop. Shipbuilding was a significant industry and the first submarine that ever sank an enemy ship was built here around the time of the Civil War.

During the early 1900s, the harbor was improved including the deepening of shipping channels and a new infrastructure. After World War I, it became an important part of the area’s growth. The shipbuilding industry began to regain importance as did steel production and manufacturing. This continued through World War II and continued to be an essential part of regional commerce.

The port was one of 18 U.S. cities that built Liberty ships. All types of ships have been built here including war ships, freighters, destroyers, and minesweepers. During the 1960s the local economy declined. The 1980s brought some improvements. Shipbuilding began again, and new companies started to utilize the facilities.  


The port has a channel that is 44 feet in depth and tunnels in the river harbor that is about 40 feet deep. There are 19 dock terminals as well as private facilities.  Four railways serve the area including BNSF, CSX Intermodal, Canadian National / Illinois Central Gulf and Norfolk Southern.

28 general cargo berths handle about 3 million tons of cargo a year. There is a container yard, freezer terminal, rail terminal and container ramp. A bulk material handling plant takes care of coal loads with a capacity of 100,000 tons. The McDuffie coal terminal handles 18.5 million tons of cargo a year with a capacity of up to 30 million tons and is the largest in the country. A liquid bulk terminal and new Pinto Island Terminal are also located here. In addition, there are a number of inland docks that also service the location.

Working on docks, in shipyards, and on vessels are some of the most dangerous occupations in the world. Companies are required to provide safe working environments for their employees. Their failure to do so might be considered negligence. If an injury does occur, dock workers and other maritime employees are typically protected by the Jones Act, which allows injured employees to take legal action. If you were seriously injured at the Port of Mobile contact us today using the online form and we will discuss the details of your case with you.

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