Nissan Shipment Arrives At The Port Of Gulfport - - The News for South Mississippi

Nissan Shipment Arrives At The Port Of Gulfport

One by one, 240 pieces of heavy equipment ordered by Nissan slowly came off the Annegret.

Arthur Ray had to put a mark on his checklist every time a crane lowered cargo onto the Port of Gulfport's dock. Ray said the work was just what the Port of Gulfport needed.

"Anytime we get a ship," he said, "that's good."

The Annegret was the first Nissan ship to dock at the Port of Gulfport. Port director Don Allee said it shouldn't be the last time a Nissan shipment bound for central Mississippi puts Gulfport stevedores and longshoremen to work.

"The significance is that this is a total state benefit," Allee said. 

The equipment unloaded on this visit will be trucked to Canton so construction crews can put together the machines that will roll out and cut the metal used to make the automobiles.

Don Allee said someday those cars could be right back here at the Port of Gulfport.

"It would be ideal if we were to become a load out center for export automobiles that originated in the state," he said. "So I think that's the best case scenario."

That possibility is still years away. For now, the port's longshoremen and stevedores simply want more chances to help the $930 million Nissan plant get off the ground.

"If they want us," stevedore Steve Puccio said, "we'll take it off them. And if they keep coming, that will be better for the port."

A second shipment of Nissan cargo arrives at the Port of Gulfport next week.

About 25 longshoremen and stevedores were assigned to the Nissan ship. By the time they're done Friday unloading the first shipment, 4,000 tons of equipment will be on its way to Canton.

By Brad Kessie

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