- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - The Port of Gulfport is working to receive a “strategic port designation” from the Defense Department.

The designation means the port would be used by the military to aid in the movement of goods to support national defense.

WLOX-TV in Biloxi reports (http://bit.ly/1CCu1rD ) a team of inspectors recently visited the Port of Gulfport.

“They don’t only look at what’s on site. They look at the rail connections, they look at the road connections, they look at all aspects of our operation, to make sure that we are able to meet their needs,” said port director Jonathan Daniels.

Daniels said a big positive for Gulfport is the port’s proximity to military bases in South Mississippi.

He said shipping military equipment through the Port of Gulfport makes even more sense when officials look at where such shipments to and from the Seabee Base are currently handled.

“Considering that a lot of those materials in the past have moved through the Port of Beaumont, Texas, and Port Arthur, Texas. Meanwhile, we’re two miles away. So certainly I think we stand in a very good position to be able to do that,” said the port director.

Daniels said a draft report on strategic port designation is expected next June or July.

Camp Shelby is also considered an asset for future military shipments which may come through Gulfport. The training base could serve as a logistics center for moving military equipment.

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Information from: WLOX-TV, http://www.wlox.com

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