Port Celebrates 35 Year Partnership
Special to The Packet
The Lowndes County Port Authority celebrated a significant milestone of 35 years navigating the economic currents of the Golden Triangle. To commemorate the occasion, the department organized a crawfish boil while reflecting on its achievements over the years. Fred Long, serving as the Vice President of Logistics Services, noted the substantial increase in cargo movement along the river within the past decade.
“In the earlier years, waterborne commerce was minimal, but we have collaborated over time to seize opportunities and develop infrastructure to cater to cargo customers,” Long explained.
Port manager Jason Colburn acknowledged that after 35 years, the facility stands as one of the most bustling multimodal transportation hubs in Northeast Mississippi. “We now transport up to one and a half million tons of cargo through the port annually,” Colburn stated, highlighting a 375% surge compared to a decade ago, as confirmed by Vice President of Logistics Services Fred Long.
“As a public port, we prioritize the public’s interests, accommodating all customers rather than dedicating ourselves to a single terminal. Whether approached through Will or directly through us, we work collaboratively to address their transportation needs,” Long emphasized.
The port handles diverse commodities, including coal, limestone, scrap, and aluminum. Colburn attributed much of the area’s industrial development to the port’s utilization of railroads and its two barge terminals situated on the east and west banks of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.
“It’s intriguing to witness the area’s booming growth, and credit is due to the port. The port generates a significant tonnage by utilizing the railroads and the Tenn-Tom waterway,” Colburn acknowledged.
The waterway serves as a natural conduit for transportation between ports. “Along the Tenn-Tom, barges travel up from Mobile while others arrive from the north via the Tennessee River. The Tenn-Tom waterway facilitates this transport, assisting us in efficiently moving cargo to and from Columbus,” Colburn explained.
Expressing gratitude for their 35 years of service, both managers eagerly anticipate the next 35 years with enthusiasm.