First port authority board meeting of 2016 full of conversation

First port authority board meeting of 2016 full of conversation

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Familiar concerns about job creation, giant cranes arriving soon and the promise of a "major announcement" forthcoming. Those were among the highlights of today's meeting of the state port authority board in Gulfport.

This was the first meeting of the new year for the port authority board.

Howard Page and Glen Cobb both voiced concerns about the jobs being created by the port expansion. So far, only around 100 new jobs have been created by the ongoing port expansion project.

You will soon see the arrival of giant gantry cranes that are now on the way to Gulfport from China. Due to arrive in mid-March, port executive director Jonathan Daniels calls the new cranes a real "game changer".

He said some of the companies he's recruiting have specifically mentioned the cranes as a distinct advantage for their operations.

Speaking of recruitment efforts, Daniels hinted at a major announcement coming in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, the port is seeing increased ship traffic. Last month's numbers reflect a significant increase in the number of deep draft vessels that called on the port.

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