The Mississippi State Port Authority has signed a letter of intent (LOI) to discuss YilPort Holding’s potential location at the Port of Gulfport in Mississippi, US.

YilPort Holding, which is a subsidiary of Yildirim Holding, is also expected to invest in additional facility and equipment upgrades of the Port of Gulfport, which is on the verge of completing a $570m restoration project.

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The newly signed deal represents the first terminal investment of YilPort in North America.

Port of Gulfport executive director and CEO Jonathan Daniels said: “As we continue discussions with YilPort, the Port of Gulfport has a unique opportunity to evaluate a private-public partnership (PPP) that could lead to a significant investment in additional infrastructure and provide both parties with increased global coverage.

“Our central location will allow YilPort to further expand international trade lanes from Gulfport and increase cargo throughput.”

Established in 1902, the Port of Gulfport is operated by Mississippi State Port Authority.

“We will be applying state-of-the-art port technologies at Gulfport in order to make it the most competitive in the region.”

The bulk, break-bulk and container seaport currently features a 300-acre deep-water port and a 116-acre inland port facility.

YilPort Holding chairman Robert Yuksel Yildirim said: “We will be applying state-of-the-art port technologies at Gulfport in order to make it the most competitive in the region.

“We see a great potential to feed volume, particularly refrigerated goods, to Gulfport from YilPort terminals in Ecuador, Peru, and Latin America, to reach the US Midwest.

“There is further potential in leveraging the company’s trading subsidiary to handle containerised liquid and bulk products out of the US Gulf Coast region for small and medium-sized shippers.”

YilPort, which specialises in metals and mining, energy production, port management and logistics, among others, currently has operations in 49 countries situated on four continents.

The company also has a 24% share in global container shipping company, CMA CCGM Group.