Director’s Log

2020 has been a year of challenges for everyone, including the Port of South Louisiana, thanks to the world-wide Covid-19 pandemic. In March, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a statewide public health emergency, leading to a temporary lockdown of state agencies. Non-essential Port of South Louisiana staff began working from home. This mandated social distancing required us to transform our traditional hands-on approach to developing our business; our relationship-driven, community-focused atmosphere had to change, just as the world had to adapt to the new circumstances brought about by the pandemic.

While our essential personnel (Security and Marine Operations) remained on-site 24/7 during the lockdown, the rest of the Port of South Louisiana staff overcame the challenge of distance in an impressive fashion. We expanded our digital presence to become more visible, which included a new Port promotional video, created in partnership with Neon Cloud Productions, that showcases the many benefits of our Port and facilities. Our monthly commission meetings went virtual thanks to the Zoom platform. Our employees have participated in virtual networking events and professional development meetings along with online conferences in various formats. We are utilizing and exploring new advertising opportunities in different arenas as a result of the social distancing challenge as well. I am very proud of the Port of South Louisiana’s team and their resiliency and adaptability to this new evolving way of life. We have a strong group of employees and it is no surprise that they have flourished during these uncertain times.  Our Port continues to serve as a powerhouse on the Mississippi River thanks to our team.

In addition to effectively surmounting the distancing challenges presented to us by Covid-19, I am pleased to report the Port of South Louisiana has not felt the devastating effects of the pandemic regarding economic impact. The nature of our Port allows us to fully utilize the strengths of the Mississippi River to continue serving our nation with importing and exporting vital goods and amenities through the various phases mandated by local and state governments. The River Region is an epicenter for commodities meaning we are still seeing a healthy stream of traffic and revenue. We have continued to progress with ongoing projects, including plans for our new administrative facility, as well as assist our Port partners with growth leading to mutual success. This continuation in the face of the pandemic’s many adversities is an important achievement in today’s world. 

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Though the pandemic has proven to not be as short-lived as we would have liked it to be, we have accepted that this may be the new normal for some time. Pre-pandemic, plans were in place for the Port of South Louisiana to celebrate its 60th anniversary via a celebration on the Mississippi River that would have included the hallmarks of Louisiana: fellowship, food, and live music. While we will have to celebrate the birthday of our Port more creatively this year, we hope to gather together sometime in the future to mark this significant milestone.

Everyone has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in some form, either personally or professionally. On behalf of the Port of South Louisiana, I send good wishes to our fellow ports, partners and clients within the maritime industry. During these ever-changing times, it is our hope that everyone sees the value of kindness and reaches out to support each other. We are all stronger when we are strong together.

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