Gulf Coast International Cargo bringing big business to the area

By Elizabeth Vowell – email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) – When you pick up a bag of green beans at the local supermarket, you might not think much about from where they came.  However, it's the process of getting them from the fields to your plate that the Gulf Coast International Cargo knows best.

"We've been working on this project for a long time and it's huge for this area because as we continue to grow with fresh vegetables, perishables, flowers, fish, this is what this facility was designed for," said GCIC President Mike Alise.

GCIC has been working for seven years to connect Gulfport to the world. Friday, it got its chance to show its stuff to the international shipping community.  The company received a shipment of frozen green beans from Guatemala, bound for Los Angeles.

Shipments like this will mean big business in the company's future.

"We're excited about it because we are going to create jobs, we're going to create commerce, and we're going to keep the money right here in South Mississippi," said Alise.

Alise said one of the biggest advantages of using the Gulfport area for shipping is that it cuts out time.  The test shipment only took a few hours to be cleared and loaded onto the truck that will carry it to LA, which is a fraction of the time it would usually take.

"Normally, this shipment would have gone through Miami and it would have taken an extra day and a half, two days, for this shipment to be cleared," said Alise.

Currently the facility is designed to handle several million pounds of dry goods and produce.  However, if the test brings in the business the company is expecting, that could change.

"We will soon have the problem of the warehouse not being big enough, which is a good problem to have," said Alise.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.