Chiquita's departure means less work hours at port - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Chiquita's departure means less work hours at port

Port of Gulfport (Photo source: WLOX News) Port of Gulfport (Photo source: WLOX News)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The last Chiquita vessel sailed away two days ago. The company has been with the Port of Gulfport since the 1970s and has provided many jobs, but now that it's gone what happens to the longshoremen at the port? We caught up with The Mississippi Port of Gulfport Executive Director Jonathan Daniels to find out.

The Chiquita vessels are heading to Louisiana, and with that longshoremen are seeing a reduction in thousands of work hours.
According to Port of Gulfport Executive Director Jonathan Daniels, the produce company moved to New Orleans.
While right now, it's impacting workers at the Port of Gulfport he says it won't be that way for long.

"We are seeing increased vessel utilization there is a need to bring additional gangs on additional people and we certainly hope that that begins to makeup for some of the hours that will be lost," said Mississippi Port of Gulfport Executive Director Jonathan Daniels.

For the month of October, port tenant Dupont has three vessels coming in that will bring in work. But Daniels says longshoremen will really be pleased with the port's new tenant McDermott International--a Pipe fabrication facility.
The company is expected to begin construction next Spring and early Summer.
It could be in full production as early as 2016.

"It will more than make up for the jobs we're loosing with Chiquita, just in the production jobs. They indicated to us that we will see in excess of 100 individuals that will be working. We're loosing 58 fulltime equivalents with Chiquita and while were sad to see that go having this new type of operation come in is going to have significant benefits," Daniels said.

In addition to McDermott, talks are underway with interested port customers and Daniels says that could mean even more jobs. 
The Gulf Coast Shipyard Group and McDermott are the port's newest tenants since 1999.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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