Mapping the Future

As the Port of New Orleans drafts its new master plan, stakeholder input is weighed early on

If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else,” said Yogi Berra. To avoid that fate and capitalize on the many opportunities that its geographic location, capabilities and intermodal advantages offer, the Port of New Orleans is working on a master plan to guide strategic business decisions well into the future.

The master plan project is nearing the end of the first phase of a multi-phase process. Phase 1 includes an in-depth analysis of the Port’s cargo and cruise businesses, as well as an assessment of its physical assets and facilities. Port staff is currently evaluating the findings and plans to release results by the end of 2016.

Port officials recognized the importance of understanding and incorporating stakeholder input early on. A survey was sent out at the beginning of the process, focus groups were hosted and both individual in-person and phone interviews were conducted.

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“We connected with a wide cross-section of stakeholders, including operators, ocean carriers, logistics and other service providers, railroads, barge operators, ocean carriers, public sector stakeholders, importers, and exporters,” said Port of New Orleans Chief Operating Officer Brandy Christian. “Obviously, the Port’s partners have a vested interest in the Port’s success as well as the unique perspective on assets and operations. Their perspective has been invaluable, and we intend to continue to involve them going forward.”

A few of the report’s focus areas that will set the stage in the Port’s future planning include:
• Maximizing Port NOLA’s unique position as a vital piece of the overall transportation network, serving the inland waterway system in the United States, and as a centralized rail hub.
• Exploring options for increasing capacity as containerized cargo volumes continue to grow.
• Leveraging opportunities to expand the usage of industrial properties for value-added services.
• Understanding trucker needs and exploring long-term solutions.
“The degree to which the Port can develop a clear and actionable strategic master plan will help both the Port and our partners identify opportunities for alignment and mutually beneficial growth,” said Christian. “With the completion of Phase 1, we will better understand what we have. Phase 2, not yet scoped, will help us plot our path forward.”


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