Rachael Gamlin

Editorial Intern

Birmingham Business Journal

After the City of Birmingham introduced the idea last year, the Alabama State Port Authority Board on Tuesday approved the creation of the Birmingham-Jefferson County Port Authority.

The city is looking into creating a partnership with a private company that would develop an inland port in the area. For local companies, the new riverside expansion will add transportation options and alternatives.

 The trade, transportation and utilities sector in Birmingham represents a significant chunk of the city’s workforce, employing more than 110,000 people throughout the city, according to the Birmingham Business Alliance’s website. The growth of the port could allow companies’ regional distribution centers to move more inventory and increase their access to other sites.

Located on the Black Warrior River, the current port connects to the Gulf of Mexico and exports a significant amount of coal.

The city has wasted no time in searching for funding to enhance the port facility, having already applied for a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Five Port Authority directors have been appointed by the city. Brenda Phillips-Hong has signed on to a one-year term, Randy Wilhelm to a two-year term, Monique Okoye to a three-year term, David Robinson to a four-year term and Jonathan Porter jointly with the city to a five-year term.