Page 68 - South Mississippi Living - August, 2021
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               Centrally located on the Gulf of Mexico, the Port of Gulfport has served as a hub of commerce for hundreds of years. Since its official establishment in 1902, the city of Gulfport has been an ideal location
for inbound and outbound maritime commerce. Situated on 300 acres just South of US Highway 49, with only an 18 mile transit to open Gulf waters, the Port of Gulfport’s physical location has always been one of its most valuable assets. Inbound vessels have access to
the Port’s new state-of-the-art terminal, enabling customers to distribute products to 75 percent of the U.S. market within 24 hours, with cargo reaching as far west as El Paso, Texas, north to Chicago, Illinois, and east to Charleston, South Carolina.
As the Port of Gulfport ushers in a new era of operations, fully recovered and restored from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, leadership and
staff are renewed in their commitment to economic development. Joining the Port this year as Executive Director and CEO, Jon Nass brings with him a vision for growth, pursuing opportunities in strategic industries that are strong within Mississippi’s economic focus. While
the Port is a key gateway for Central America, a focus on developing new trade connections will assist Mississippi businesses in reaching global markets.
“In the coming year, I hope to see us fully utilize the Port’s assets to their greatest potential with increased ship calls to new
destinations and by filling vacancies in our warehouses and east terminal,” said Nass. “We have a great opportunity to utilize the investment made our state and federal partners to ensure we create jobs that attract some of the brightest talent to South Mississippi.”
As part of this commitment, the Port of Gulfport continues to develop their partnership with the University of Southern Mississippi (USM). Through this relationship, the Port has assisted in the development of a roadmap that will build new capacity for Mississippi’s blue economy.
“Investing in the state’s blue economy provides a unique opportunity for the region to create a maritime technology
68 | August 2021 | SOUTH MISSISSIPPI Living

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