International Business Docks At Pascagoula Port

More international businesses will soon sail into the Port of Pascagoula. The China based Indotrans Shipping Company decided to pull up anchor in New Orleans and will dock at Bayou Cassotte beginning in June. Port officials say they hope more businesses follow in its wake.

Forklifts are constantly on the move along the docks at the Port of Pascagoula. With Indotrans docking at the port, Port Director Mark McAndrews says things are about to get even busier.

"It's increased work for our existing labor force and increased business opportunities for our service providers like the tug boat companies, the ship handlers."

McAndrews says all the new work will lead to the creation of new jobs, but just how many is still uncertain. The one thing he's sure of is that having Indotrans in port will benefit the area economy.

"Cargo on the waterfront generally has an economic impact on the area of between three and four dollars a ton," says McAndrews "The more cargo we handle here in Pascagoula, the more benefit there is to the area."

The company will have about twelve ships dock at the port each year. Each ship will be loaded down with nearly 100,000 tons of cargo. According to McAndrews that could mean between three and five million dollars going into the Jackson County economy.

It took two years for port officials to convince Indotrans to jump ship and dock at Pascagoula and McAndrews says he and the port are working daily to bring more businesses to the county.

"We're going to continue to grow the port and the business here in Jackson County," said McAndrews. "On a daily basis, we're attracting and contacting different shippers and carriers to attract their business to Pascagoula."