Port of Gulfport keeps rolling

GULFPORT -- The Port of Gulfport has big plans for expansion, but even at its current size and with a slumping economy, the port already has put itself in a position to be the benefactor of a future business boom.

A shift in trade patterns began several years ago when many Gulf Coast ports tweaked operations and drifted away from a specific type of cargo, choosing instead to handle mostly containerized and break-bulk cargo - goods that can be boxed or fastened to a pallet and usually need to be lifted from a vessel by crane.

Meantime, industry executives say another method of shipping is slowly being squeezed out and a few smaller ports along the Gulf are seizing the opportunity.

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