Port of New Orleans Overview
With the Mississippi River moving about 500 million tons of cargo each year – including chemicals, coal, timber, iron, steel and more than half of the nation’s grain exports, the Port of New Orleans is America’s gateway to the global market.
New Orleans has been a center for international trade since 1718 when it was founded by the French. Today, the Port of New Orleans is at the center of the world’s busiest port complex — Louisiana’s Lower Mississippi River. Its proximity to the American Midwest via a 14,500-mile inland waterway system makes New Orleans the port of choice for the movement of cargoes.
The Port of New Orleans is the only deepwater port in the United States served by six class one railroads. This gives port users direct and economical rail service to or from anywhere in the country.
New Orleans is one of America’s leading general cargo ports. A productive and efficient private maritime industry has helped produce impressive results, including the USA’s top market share for import steel, natural rubber, plywood and coffee.
In the past 10 years, the Port of New Orleans has invested more than $400 million in new state-of-the-art facilities. Improved breakbulk and container terminals feature new multipurpose cranes, expanded marshalling yards and a new roadway to handle truck traffic. The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans is committed to building a port that will serve the needs of the global marketplace well into the new century.
To be a proactive, customer-oriented, financially healthy service
organization whose primary purpose is to maximize the flow of
foreign and domestic waterborne trade and commerce with relevant
markets by providing, directly or through third parties, highly
productive facilities, equipment, and support services to meet the
specialized needs of shippers and ship operators.
The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans governs the Port of New Orleans. The Board sets policies and regulates traffic and commerce of the Port.
The Board is made up of seven commissioners. They are unsalaried and serve five-year staggered terms. The governor of Louisiana appoints board members from a list of three nominees submitted by 19 local business, civic, labor, education and maritime groups.
The seven-person board reflects the three-parish (county) jurisdiction of the Board. Four members are selected from Orleans Parish, two from Jefferson Parish and one from St. Bernard Parish.
The Port’s facilities include 22 million square feet of cargo handling area and more than 6 million square feet of covered storage area.
The Port’s facilities accommodate an average of 2,000 vessel calls each year.
Origin/Destination of Calls:
(via inland waterway system)
Mississippi River. The Port of New Orleans is ideally located on the 14,500 mile Mid-America inland waterway system.
World’s Busiest Waterway. More than 6,000 ocean vessels annually move through New Orleans on the Mississippi River.
Statewide Economic Impact. According to a 2004
study conducted by Martin Associates, maritime activity within the
Port of New Orleans is responsible for 160,498 jobs, $8 billion in
earnings, $17 billion in spending and $800 million in taxes statewide.
General Cargo Port. The Port of New Orleans is a
diverse general cargo port, handling containerized cargo such as
apparel, food products, and consumer merchandise. The Port's general
cargo volume has averaged 8.6 million tons from 2003 through 2007.
America’s Most Intermodal Port. In addition to excellent rail service; 50 ocean carriers, 16 barge lines, and 75 truck lines serve the Port of New Orleans.
$400 Million in New Facilities. The Board has invested in new wharves, terminals, marshalling yards, cranes and transportation infrastructure in the past 10 years.
Napoleon Container Terminal. The $100 million state-of-art terminal features four dockside gantry cranes and six rubber tire gantry cranes in the marshalling yard. Annual capacity is 366,000 teu. The 61-acre terminal (48-acre marshalling area) opened in the winter of 2004.
Truck Access. Local and national carriers provide truck service via the Interstate
Highway System. The Clarence Henry Truckway gives truckers speedy and dedicated access to the Port’s Mississippi River terminals.
Foreign Trade Zone. A defined area where foreign merchandise may be brought into the country without being immediately subject to the usual U.S. Customs regulations.
Dockside Cold Storage. New Orleans Cold Storage operates a dockside cold storage facility at the Port’s Jourdan Road Terminal on the Industrial Canal/Mississippi River Gulf Outlet. The 160,000 s.f. facility houses ten "super blast" freezing cells.
Rail Access. The Port of New Orleans is the only seaport in the U.S. served by six class one rail
roads — Burlington Northern/Santa Fe, Canadian National, CSX, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific.
World’s Longest Wharf. The 2.01 mile long quay between Henry Clay Avenue and Milan Street terminals can accommodate as many as 15 vessels simultaneously.
Import Steel. The Port of New Orleans is a leading port for the movement of imported steel. Countries of origin include Japan, Brazil, Russia and Mexico.
No. 1 in Natural Rubber. The Port of New Orleans is the nation’s top port for imported natural rubber. Countries of origin include Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
Coffee Handled Here. New Orleans is the nation’s premier coffee-handling port, with 14 warehouses, more than 5.5 million feet of storage space and six roasting facilities in a 20 mile radius. Two of the most modern bulk processing operations are located in New Orleans: Dupuy Storage and Forwarding Corp. (first in U.S.) and Silocaf of New Orleans, Inc. (world’s largest).
Cruise Port. More than 700,000 passengers sail through the Port of New Orleans each year. Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines sail weekly to destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico. The Delta Queen Steamboat Company offers excursions along the nation’s inland river system. RiverBarge Excursions’ hotel-on-barge River Explorer features a New Orleans/Memphis itinerary.