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ARC Partners in Net A-South Initiative to Enhance Appalachia’s Access to Coastal Ports, International Commerce

July 2012


The Appalachian Regional Commission is partnering with the Port of Mobile and the International Intermodal Center at the Port of Huntsville in Alabama to support Network Appalachia–South (Net A-South), a new planning and development initiative to help Appalachia better compete in the global economy. Launched in June 2012, Net A-South will design new infrastructure, technology, financing, and institutional alliances to help enhance inland Appalachia's access to neighboring coastal ports, which serve as key gateways to international commerce for the Region's businesses.

Coordinated by the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the Net A-South project team will evaluate potential improvements to highway, rail, and inland waterway links between Huntsville's inland port and the newly opened intermodal container terminal at the Port of Mobile on the Gulf Coast. The initiative will take advantage of new technology and institutional alliances to establish a 300-mile-long seamless extension of the Port of Mobile northward to serve Huntsville and all of southern Appalachia. With the new Mobile container terminal now completed and the improved Panama Canal scheduled to open in 2015, Net A-South will enhance southern Appalachia's access to Asian, European, Middle Eastern, and South American markets.

The Net A-South initiative builds on the momentum of ARC's Network Appalachia transportation plan to help ensure reliable, safe, and cost-efficient global access for Appalachian businesses.