Lowndes County Port Authority celebrates 35 years

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI ) – The Lowndes County Port Authority celebrated a 35-year milestone of sailing the economic waves of the Golden Triangle.

Fittingly, The department hosted a crawfish boil and remembered the achievements it has made throughout the years. Fred Long is the Vice President of Logistics Services. He says the port has significantly increased the amount of cargo it moves down the river within the last decade.

“In the early years, there was minimal waterborne commerce but over the years we have worked together to seize opportunities and create infrastructure to handle cargo customers,” said Long.

Port manager Jason Colburn said 35 years later the facility is one of the most active multimodal transportation hubs in Northeast Mississippi.

“We are moving up to a million and a half tons a year of cargo throughout the port,” said Colburn.

That’s a 375% increase from a decade ago according to Vice President of Logistics Services Fred Long.

“We act as a public port for the public’s best interest. We are not a dedicated terminal for one customer. Anybody that wants to do it whether they approach Will or come directly through us we work together to find a way to solve their transportation needs,” said Long.

The port handles vast commodities of coal and limestone as well as scrap and aluminum.

Colburn said the facility has attracted much of the industrial development in the area because of its use of the railroads and its two barge terminals on the east and west banks of the Tennessee- Tombigbee Waterway.

“I think it’s interesting that this area is booming the way that it is and a lot of credit goes to the port. The port is able to generate a lot of tonnage from the railroads from the Tenn- Tom waterway,” said Colburn.

The waterway supports a natural route from one port to the next.

“On the Tenn Tom, we have barges that are coming up from mobile and we also have barges coming in from the north from the Tennesse River and the tenn tom waterway supports that track. The river helps us get that cargo to and from Columbus,” said Colburn.

The managers said they are thankful for the last 35 years of service and are excited for the next 35 years.

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