Domestic and international companies shipping products throughout the Unites States and abroad find Alabama’s transportation network efficient and cost-effective. Alabama’s transportation network includes an interstate system that provides access to all major markets and 10% of the nation’s navigable waterways.
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) is Alabama’s largest airport and home to 5 major airlines operating at 19 gates. With approximately 130 flights daily, Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International handles nearly 3,000,000 passengers annually and presently ranks in the country’s top 75 airports for passengers served each year. The Airport is located 50 miles (80.5 km) east of Tuscaloosa County.
Tuscaloosa Regional Airport (TCL) offers a 6499’ x 150’ (1 980m x 45.7m) all weather runway, a 4001’ x 150’ (1 219m x 45.7m) secondary runway, a control tower, a terminal building, a fire/crash station, an aircraft maintenance and service company, and a rental car agency. There are numerous hangars for private planes and corporate jets. Charter air service is available from two FBOs (Bama Air and Dixie Air). Cargo services are also available. A flight school is also operated at the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport.
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International has outstanding cargo facilities, congestion-free air space, a wide selection of commercial carriers, U.S. Customs service, and a location in easy reach of major U.S. markets. BHM Air Cargo resources include:
- Expansion of cargo area underway
- 50,000 square feet (4 645 m²), eight-bay cargo building
- Convenient accessibility to all international markets
- Port of Entry for US Customs
- Foreign Trade Zone near airport
- Refrigerated storage for perishable cargo
- In-bond storage for commercial carriers
- 24-hour airport operation
- 2 of nations leading Fixed-base Operators (FBOs)
Interstate and Highway Systems
Alabama has five interstate highway systems connecting to major U.S. markets. Tuscaloosa County is serviced by:
- Interstates 20 and 59 (six-laned between Tuscaloosa and Birmingham);
- Interstate 359;
- U.S. Highways 82, 43 and 11;
- State Highways 69, 215, and 171; and
- Black Warrior Parkway-a six-mile (9.6 km), four-lane western bypass and toll bridge that connects U.S. Highway 82 with I-20/59.
Motor Freight Service
Tuscaloosa is served by both motor freight and heavy hauling companies that offer numerous freight transportation options for local industry. Liquid or dry bulk trucking and local cartage trucking are available.
Three railroad systems serve the Tuscaloosa area. Class 1 Railroads Kansas City Southern and Norfolk Southern provide freight service to the area. Intermodal freight service is available at Norfolk Southern’s Birmingham Regional Intermodal Facility, located just across the Tuscaloosa County line in McCalla. Amtrak offers passenger service to destinations throughout the continental United States.
Alabama has the largest inland waterway system in the nation with more than 1,300 miles (2 092 km) of navigable waterways. The Alabama State Port Authority (ASPA) owns and operates the State of Alabama’s deepwater port facilities at the Port of Mobile. ASPA’s container, general cargo, Ro/Ro, and bulk facilities have immediate access to two interstate systems, five Class 1 railroads, four-day rail service to Mexico, and nearly 15,000 miles (24 140 km) of inland waterway connections. The Port of Mobile is located approximately 225 highway miles (362 km) from Tuscaloosa.
The Port of Mobile provides shipping to every major international destination and is ranked:
- 9th largest U.S. seaport in total volume
- 10th largest in imports and total foreign trade
- 11th largest in exports and total domestic trade
The Black Warrior River is part of Alabama’s inland waterway system and bisects Tuscaloosa County. This federally-maintained waterway provides a minimum nine foot (2.7 m) depth and 280 foot (85 m) width. The river connects Tuscaloosa County with the Port of Mobile, and, via the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, to the Tennessee, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
ASPA’s Tuscaloosa-Northport Inland Dock is located in Tuscaloosa County. It has a 60 X 85 foot (18 x 26 m) concrete barge dock, mooring dolphins, a 24,000 square foot (2 230 m²) warehouse and a 570,000 bushel grain elevator. Private docking facilities are also located in Tuscaloosa County. Parker Towing Company, with headquarters in Tuscaloosa, provides regional and local barge service and has one of the largest barge lines in the Southeast.