Our Port in History
Since 1711, Mobile has had the distinction of serving as Alabama’s only deepwater port, a proud heritage that has shaped our region’s unique culture and customs. Generations of Mobile families have learned their vocations and made their livings due to the presence of the Port and its network of trade and industries. In the early years, The Port City became a shipping center for cotton, timber and coal. During the two world wars, we became a center of shipbuilding for the region, with our men and women providing critical infrastructure for the war effort and our troops. The Port’s international trade also brought great cultural diversity to our area. Mobile has flown under British, French, and Spanish flags, and over the years has had thriving German and Italian communities. Business interests, recognizing the limits that the shallow harbor placed on the city’s economic future, lobbied the state for harbor improvements which helped Mobile become one of the largest ports in the South by the 1850s, and since World War II, the Port has expanded and diversified more than at any point in its 300-year history.
Our Seaport Terminals Today
The Port of Mobile has grown in recent years to America’s 12th largest, importing and exporting the greatest diversity of commodities ever, including aluminum, chemicals, coal, iron, lumber, oil & gas, steel, and wood pulp, and we are adding automobiles and aeronautics to the mix. In 2014, the seaport was officially designated an Energy Transfer Port, recognizing Mobile’s leading and expanding role in the energy trade and further supporting our nation’s growing energy independence. This designation qualifies us for increased Federal funding critical to our growth and expansion. In 2014, Business Facilities also ranked Mobile third in the nation for economic growth potential. With an increased international presence of companies from Europe to Asia, our Port is thriving, providing opportunities for our children and their families to build their careers and their futures here at home.