Alabama is a key player in the transportation industry, with U.S. port hubs along the Gulf of Mexico. The state is known for its maritime work involving coal mining and steel production, as well as chemical transportation and development and forestry. Without maritime involvement, these primary economic drivers would have to rely on other modes of transportation. Many of the state’s ports routinely handle shipments of coal, wood pulp, and metals as well as other commodities.
Much of the area, due to its inland waterways, has access to and works closely with the maritime industry. From barges to crane work and offshore drilling, Alabama has a thriving maritime economy in high demand for maritime workers. As a busy hub, Alabama’s maritime workers are constantly at high risk for accident and injury.
With workers onshore and at sea, and new ones in training every day, many workers will need to consult a legal representative at some point in their careers. Receiving fair compensation for injuries through federal maritime law or at the state level can be a challenge that requires a high degree of legal skill. At Lapeze & Johns, PLLC, our team of skilled Alabama Maritime Lawyers regularly helps injured maritime workers throughout Alabama.
List of Alabama’s Major Ports and Maritime Cities
Most of the state’s ports are small and located on inland waterways. Many workers may not realize they are considered maritime employees if they work on or near the water routinely. Some of the more recognized ports in the state include:
Port of Mobile
The largest in the state and located on the Gulf of Mexico, the Port of Mobile is home to Alabama’s Port Authority. It is the 12th largest seaport in the country by volume. With 41 berths, it imports and exports millions of tons of cargo every year. It is an intermodal hub; a large portion of cargo is transferred to major railways from the location. The majority of products moving through the port includes heavy/oversized cargo, containers, coal, metal materials, lumber and lumber byproducts, flooring, and chemicals. A major steel terminal operated by Alabama Steel Terminals LLC opened at the port this year.
Port of Bridgeport
Located on the Tennessee River in the northern part of the state, Bridgeport serves as a hub between the Gulf and southern economic centers, such as Chattanooga and Nashville. The port’s activity commonly includes barge transference of commodities, and it serves as the access point for river connection to 20 additional states.
Port of Tuscaloosa
This is a small port on the Black Warrior River, but it sees a great deal of coal industry activity because of its proximity to production centers. From here, coal products move elsewhere in the country and to the coast for export.
Port of Montgomery
Along the Alabama River, the Port of Montgomery serves as a stop for vessels heading to or away from the coast. Located in the state’s capital, the port also loads and offloads agricultural and cargo shipments.
Other Alabama Maritime Companies and Ports
Other Alabama ports include:
- Bevill-Hook Port
- Port of Columbia
- Crossroads of America Port
- Barry Electric Generating Plant
- Port of Claiborne
- Port of Cordova
- Port of Decatur
- Port of Demopolis
- Port of Epes
- Port of Eufaula
- Port of Florence
- Port of Guntersville
- Port of Phoenix City
- Pickens County Port
- Port of Selma
There are also several companies that operate on the inland waterways of Alabama. For instance, employees of the Barry Electric generating plant on the Mobile River may be considered maritime workers if they suffer injury on the job. The state’s small ports play a significant role creating access to and from larger transportation hubs. When accidents happen, these integral maritime workers may need the assistance of maritime attorneys who understand Alabama state laws and federal maritime laws. The Alabama maritime lawyers represent clients across the state.
Alabama Maritime Work and Injuries
The maritime work in Alabama ranges from labor on waterway vessels, including barges, as well as port activity involving cranes and heavy equipment. Companies on the waterways also may be maritime in nature, as can some contractors who work for larger inland companies.
Something as simple as a slip and fall can be very dangerous in a maritime situation. A fall from a ship or from height could lead to devastating injury, including broken limbs. Other common maritime injuries occur from malfunctioning equipment or on commercial fishing vessels. Vehicle accidents onshore are common and can have devastating consequences. Brain damage, chronic pain, repetitive motion injuries, third-degree burns, and death can occur during an Alabama maritime accident.
The failure to complete a task, a lack of situational understanding, and a lack of training or skills cause the majority of maritime injuries recorded by the American Bureau of Shipping. Although dangerous situations can increase risk, most maritime work injuries are the result of human error.
Contacting an Alabama Maritime Lawyer
If you are injured at sea, on the river, or in other related maritime work on land, you may be entitled to compensation under federal maritime law. Our skilled maritime attorneys at Lapeze & Johns PLLC understand the difficulties associated with maritime accidents, and we’re committed to helping maritime workers in Alabama get the fair compensation they deserve after an accident. If you or someone you know has suffered an injury during the course of maritime work, consult our knowledgeable Alabama maritime lawyer to better understand your rights and legal options.