Port NOLA to implement Master Plan
The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) is close to ushering in a Gateway Master Plan designed to provide infrastructure for the future to realise its potential with integrated transport solutions, its president and chief executive has said.
Speaking at the port’s annual State of the Port address, hosted by the International Freight Forwarders & Customs Brokers Association of New Orleans (IFFCBANO), Brandy Christian also said that the port is planning for growth mindfully, strategically and sensibly and is taking environmental effects and safety issues into account.
Factors set to be included in the Gateway Master Plan include increasing breakbulk capacity, expanding container capacity, rejuvenating undervalued industrial properties across the port’s jurisdiction and finding strategic investments to expand the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad’s operational efficiencies.
Port NOLA is expected to complete the acquisition of this railroad from the City of New Orleans around the end of the year.
“It is a win-win-win for all parties involved,” Ms Christian commented on the planned deal.
“Industrywide, all logistic elements become more closely integrated and shippers who must have or prefer rail benefit from more seamless logistics solutions.”
The president and chief executive also said in her address that the port’s environmental sustainability initiatives, including the Clean Truck Replacement Incentive Program (Clean TRIP) which has heralded a number of different reductions, will continue to grow.
An optimistic outlook
In her speech, Ms Christian said that the port’s goal was to lead the local region to a future that was “bright”.
“Our goals are to serve as an economic catalyst and generate more family-supporting jobs, and we are ready to do just that,” she said.
During the address, which saw Ms Christian unveil a video highlighting the people that help the port realise its targets, the chief executive also said that the facility expected continued growth in its container market and that experts were forecasting volume from the Gulf region between 2017 and 2020 to increase by 400,000 teu.
The predicted volume increases are leading to more opportunities with the world’s largest ocean carriers, including the direct, all-water PEX 3 container service to Asia by CMA CGM and the company’s direct South America service to Brazil.
Breakbulk continues to be an important part of Port NOLA’s cargo operations, and the port has also witnessed roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) service for the first time since 2005.
In a pre-recorded video, Governor of Louisiana John Bel Edwards pressed the importance of the facility as an economic engine for the state and region.
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