The Port of Gulfport MS intends to return to limited operation by September 30, according to Don Allee, Mississippi State Port Authority executive director.
Hurricane Katrina laid waste to port facilities August 29, but the port should manage to handle cargoes including tropical fruit within 12 days, Allee said. Dole Food Co Inc and Chiquita Brands International will be among the first with vessels unloading cargo, he said.
Replacing warehouse and shed space, however, will take a long time and may cost as much as $55 million, Allee said. Total rebuilding cost for the port area is expected to exceed $250 million.
Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, the 184-acre deep-water port had been handling 360 vessels a year transporting products including fruit and frozen poultry.
The Port of Gulfport is the third-most-used container port on the Gulf of Mexico and ranks as 17th-busiest nationally.