Mobile Container Terminal gets early test
Mobile’s newest container facility, which is scheduled to begin operations in September, kicked into action early over the weekend, discharging cargo from a Hapag-Lloyd containership that was unable to make its regular call at the Port of New Orleans because of an oil spill that has closed the Lower Mississippi River to traffic.
Brian Clark, director of the new Mobile Container Terminal, which is a joint venture of the APM Terminals unit of A.P. Moller – Maersk and CMA-CGM, said about 150 containers were discharged from the ship Rome Express on Friday and Saturday. The terminal is now working with Hapag-Lloyd to arrange inland delivery of the containers.
“We got a call Thursday morning asking if we could assist them,” said Clark. “It was challenging, but things went about as well as could be expected.”
James K. Lyons, director and chief executive officer of the Alabama State Docks Department, said a cruise ship, the Carnival Fantasy, and one breakbulk ship discharging aluminum also were diverted to Mobile. Some other ships discharged New Orleans cargo in Houston where they had regular service.
With the resumption of traffic on the Mississippi, Lyons did not expect additional ships to be diverted to Mobile.