Aluminum Rising

Port sees an upswing in aluminum imports during the first quarter of 2016

The Port of New Orleans saw a surge in aluminum imports for the first quarter of 2016. Terminal operators are handling more of the durable, lightweight metal in recent months due to an overwhelming demand for it in the United States.

“A shortage of domestic supply has sparked the increasing trend of aluminum imports,” said Jimmy Baldwin, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Coastal Cargo.

The May 5 edition of American Journal of Transportation reported that 30,000 tons of aluminum bar were shipped to the Port of New Orleans aboard the Interlink Sagacity. The 14-day process of unloading the massive shipment began April 2. Baldwin forecasts that large shipments of aluminum will continue into 2017, with an 800,000-ton void being filled by offshore suppliers.

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The increase in aluminum imports in the midst of regulatory restrictions speaks to the confidence that shippers have in the Port of New Orleans.

“It’s great to see a strong increase in aluminum moving on the river this year since there has been a dip in other breakbulk commodities due to trade sanctions and economic forces,” stated Robert Landry, Port of New Orleans Chief Commercial Officer. “We are seeing aluminum imports being driven by both the London Metals Exchange traders as well as domestic users.”

By Nakeila Polk

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