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The Business View – May 2017 / News You Can Use
With all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed, Walmart officials were in town March 29 to announce Mobile will be home to its newest direct import distribution center. The facility will stock the company’s other distribution centers, with the nearest ones located in Cullman, Ala., and Baton Rouge, La.
The total investment is valued at $135 million.
APM Terminals, Alabama State Port Authority and the Mobile Area Chamber hosted a celebration welcoming Walmart at APM, signaling the significant increase in traffic expected at the container terminal and the Port of Mobile.
“Walmart will become a major user of the container intermodal facilities at the Port of Mobile. Modernizing the port and our long-range planning has long focused on recruiting distribution centers into the region. Walmart’s commitment to Mobile only validates those investments and the Port of Mobile’s strategic importance to the nation’s commerce,” said James K. Lyons, CEO of the Alabama State Port Authority.
The annual inventory for this distribution center is expected to increase traffic at APM Terminals by at least 20,000 containers or 10 percent overall, said Brian Harold, APM’s managing director. To prepare, he said, “We are currently expanding our terminal footprint by 20 acres, and are receiving two new Super-Post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes this summer.”
Located off I-10 near Irvington, the facility will be 2.5 million square feet, expandable to 2.9 million square feet. Walmart will hire 550 full-time employees, including transportation positions. In addition, Walmart will build a 90,000-square-foot cross dock for transport.
When finished, the building will be large enough to accommodate 50 football fields or 30 ships the size of Mobile’s Carnival cruise ship, The Fantasy.
“We are excited about how this facility will help us service our customers and the economic impact it will have through local job creation and future economic development,” said Jeff Breazeale, Walmart’s vice president of direct import logistics.
Mobile’s assets that attracted the project started with the Port of Mobile and APM’s efficiency, according to Troy Wayman, the Chamber’s vice president of economic development. “This Walmart direct import distribution center is a perfect example of the strength of Team Mobile. Leveraging the long term efforts and relationships
Jimmy Lyons and the Port Authority have worked so hard to develop and the strengths that Brian Harold and APM bring to the logistics infrastructure have resulted in a great win for our region. The city and county worked together with the entire team to make this project a reality and we are already seeing a significant impact for Mobile.”
Wayman also acknowledged the role of McCallum Sweeney as Walmart’s site selection firm, especially Jeff Forsythe and Sarah White.
Construction is underway and is expected to take 14 months.
“We all have worked very hard to bring this great project to Mobile County. We are excited to add these significant job opportunities to the south part of the county,” said Commissioner Jerry Carl.
“This project represents a tremendous step in establishing Mobile as a global hub for logistics and distribution. I want to thank our partners at the state of Alabama, Mobile County, the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce and the Alabama State Port Authority for working together to bring home a development of this magnitude. Team Mobile is committed to creating jobs for our citizens,” said City of Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson.
Click here to read The Business View – May 2017