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JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) will conduct two comprehensive studies on the sixteen public ports in Mississippi, including ports in Columbus, Aberdeen, Amory, Fulton and Iuka along the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.

“The information gained from these studies will be critical in developing processes to generate new business and create a foundation for future economic growth in Mississippi,” said Northern Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert.

A thorough marketing needs assessment of each of the sixteen public ports will help identify valuable components such as the port’s capacity, capabilities and goals. The data gathered in the study will be used in developing marketing packages specific to each individual port’s needs. Along with the assortment of new marketing tools, key port officials will receive marketing and communications training to enhance negotiations with current and potential customers.

MDOT will also perform an in depth economic impact analysis of each port by comparing the current economic model against a selection of top performing models. The study will allow MDOT to determine the current efficiency numbers and the areas where improvements can be made. Profiles of each port will be created that summarizes essential statistics including size, governance, activity, tenants, users, employment, budget, revenue and other data relevant to economic analysis. Information revealed by the study will be used in a ‘port user profile,’ that will identify which port services and assets businesses rely on.

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