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Nov.30, 2015

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26 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE www.joc.com NOVEMBER 30.2015 U.S. GULF REPORT SPECIAL REPORT W H E N T H E A L A B A M A Por t Aut hor- ity opened a new warehouse for steel shipments in 2010, it added 400,000 square feet of storage space for other commodities. "We'd been storing steel almost every- where we could find space for it," said Jimmy Lyons, CEO at the Alabama State Port Authority. "When we opened the new warehouse, we were able to provide that space for forest products and other cargo." The port handles about 5 million tons of steel a year, second only to Hous- ton among U.S. ports. Mobile's steel is primarily billets imported from Brazil and Mexico or finishing into coils at the nearby AM/NS Calvert plant owned by a joint venture between Arcelormittal and Nippon Steel/Sumitomo Metals. For a while after the plant's 2010 opening, steel shipments strained the port's ability to keep up. Steel was stacked so high in some warehouses that the floors sagged. "We had to cut out sections of con- crete and replace them," Lyons said. The new terminal provides 178,200 square feet of covered space equipped with three 50-ton-capacity overhead bridge cranes, and 168,000 square feet of open storage. The private operator, Alabama Steel Terminals, has plans for a 194,400-square-foot expansion of cov- ered storage. Steel has become an important part of Mobile's diversified cargo mix, which includes bulk coal, forest products, poul- try and containerized shipments. The port's container terminal opened in 2008. Volume totaled 237,266 20-foot- equivalent units in fiscal 2014 ending Sept. 30, 2014, and has leveled off dur- ing the last two years. Lyons sees this as a temporary lull until additional carrier services increase Mobile port calls. In the meantime, the port is expand- ing the terminal's capacity and building an adjacent $36 million intermodal container transfer facility. The projects, set for com- pletion in 2016, will increase the terminal's 350,000-TEU capacity to 475,000 TEUs. Future expansion plans would increase capacity to 1.3 million TEUs. Operator APM Terminals next year plans to install two super-post-Panamax cranes, which will join the two post-Pan- amax cranes already in use. By Joseph Bonney MOBILE ON THE MOVE CN Rail's intermodal push is the latest in a series of expansion projects at the Alabama port anticipate the investment boom in the chemical and petrochemical industry on the lower Mississippi River will spur continued growth," LaGrange said. Steel volume at the port was just under 4 million tons last year, and was up 18.7 percent year-over-year through May. Imports dominate New Orleans' steel shipments, which consist mainly of coils and plates for fabrication. The boom in oil and gas fracking also is providing New Orleans with shipments of oil field pipe, a commodity that traditionally has moved primarily through Houston. LaGrange said the influx of pipe is a case of a rising tide lift- ing all boats. "When things are good," he said, "things are good." JOC Contact Joseph Bonney at joseph.bonney@ihs.com and follow him on Twitter: @JosephBonney. "WHEN THINGS ARE GOOD, THINGS ARE GOOD." Source: PIERS, a sister product of The Journal of Commerce within IHS Maritime & Trade, www.piers.com, PORT OF NEW ORLEANS CONTAINER VOLUME n Containerized import and export cargoes, in thousands of TEUs 0 50 100 150 200 250 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 ■ Exports ■ Imports

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