The lack of mineral resources, especially of coal and iron, of a good harbour (until the improvement of Gulfport), and of an adequate supply of labour has discouraged most kinds of manufacturing.
On the southern border, the Mississippi Sound affords safe navigation for small coasting vessels, and from Gulfport (13 m.
At mean low water, and to construct an anchorage basin (completed in 1906) at Gulfport, 2 m.
The Gulfport project reduced freight rates between Gulfport and the Atlantic seaboard cities and promoted the trade of Gulfport, which is the port of entry for the Pearl River customs district.
The city is served by a branch of the Louisville & Nashville railway, and by an electric railway extending to Bay St Louis, through Gulfport (pop. in 1900, 1060), about 13 m.
The latter railway was opened from Gulfport to Hattiesburg in January 1897, and from Hattiesburg to Jackson in September 1900.