Discover the Port of Vicksburg

By Laura Hill on April 28, 2011 at 6:37 pm EST
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From the Port of Vicksburg, you can easily reach New Orleans or Memphis on the Mississippi River. Or maybe the east or west coast. Or, if you like, you might even travel halfway around the world.

One of the largest inland ports in the country, the Port of Vicksburg imports and exports nearly 14 million tons of freight each year, sending and receiving barges of cotton and steel coils, soy and pig iron, aluminum and crude oil, and much more to and from destinations around the world. The port, owned and operated by Warren County and the Warren County Port Commission, in 2004 was ranked 11th among U.S. inland ports, based on trip ton miles. Its geographical location, halfway between Memphis and New Orleans, and its outstanding road and rail connections make it a major player in the Southeast – and a stalwart of Vicksburg's economy, home to 22 businesses and industries.

"The port is very critical to Vicksburg," says Wayne Mansfield, executive director of the Warren County Port Commission. "When you look at our industrial base, we have industries that have been here 50 years or longer, one more than 100 years. And the majority have some tie to river transportation."

Vicksburg Port Amenities

The port's infrastructure is impressive. The slack-water harbor is large for an inland port, approached through a channel whose 12-foot depth is maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, keeping barge traffic moving smoothly. The port itself is 600 acres, most of it privately owned. A rail/road loop allows direct access to barges, warehouses and other services. It boasts a 150-ton mobile crane, two 15-ton overhead cranes, all-weather loading and unloading, and 135,000 square feet of storage.

"We are very much a regional port in terms of the Southeast, because it's a multimodal facility – lose to interstates and rail, so it's a convenient place for goods to be onloaded or offloaded," Mansfield says. The port, he notes, supports 2,500 jobs.

Business Calls Port of Vicksburg Home

Among the leading businesses located in the Port of Vicksburg:

Kinder Morgan, whose 11-acre terminal handles paper, steel, packaged and dry bulk products, barge loading, unloading, stowage and handling. It operates the port's largest crane.

Anderson-Tully Lumber Company ships more than 200 containers overseas each month from the port. Established in 1889, the company is one of the leading hardwood lumber producers in the U.S., maintaining more than 300,000 acres of timberland along 700 miles of the Mississippi River. The company employs 300 people at its port facility.

Vicksmetal/Armco supplies slit steel to the transformer industry. In 2009 the parent company, Summitt Steel Holdings Inc. launched Vicksmetal Company, a $4 million investment. The company employs 55 at its 26,500-square-foot facility at the port.

Ergon Refining, one of the largest manufacturers of napthenic-process oil in the world, is capable of processing 25,000 barrels of crude oil daily. Specialty Process Fabricators, a subsidiary of Ergon's parent company, designs and manufactures process equipment and machinery such as pressure vessels and custom pipe.

Check out more businesses in Vicksburg, MS.

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