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April 16 2018

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18 The Journal of Commerce | April 16 2018 Gulf Trade: Top Carriers and Ports Special Report HIRING IS UNDER way and workers are putting finishing touches on a 2.6 million-square-foot Wal-Mart import distribution center (DC) that the Port of Mobile expects to be a catalyst for growth of exports as well as inbound cargo. Wal-Mart's new import DC will be one of six such gateways through which the retail giant funnels cargo to smaller distribution centers and stores in the US market. It's sched- uled to open in June and gradually ramp up to expected full volume of about 50,000 TEU a year. The added cargo will provide a big boost to Mobile's import volumes, which totaled 118,097 TEU of full containers last year, according to PIERS, a sister product of The Journal of Commerce within IHS Markit. The added import volume also will provide more opportunities for exports, which totaled 132,478 TEU last year. Finding empty containers for export loads has been a chronic chal- lenge for shippers of commodities such as resins and forest products at export-dominated Gulf ports. The Wal-Mart's new distribution center will attract imports, provide empty containers for exports By Joseph Bonney Mobile's growth spurt APM Terminals is expanding its container terminal for the second time since its opening in 2008.

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