Region’s Maritime Industry Celebrated Multiple Big Wins

While National Maritime Day may not be until May, celebrations began early in March with the release of record-setting data from both Port NOLA and the Port of South Louisiana, as well as a few other newsworthy items.

In 2016, Port NOLA launched a partnership with the Port of Greater Baton Rouge and Ingram Marine Group to provide a container-on-barge service that weekly repositions empty containers for reuse and offers shippers alternative ways to move their goods. In March PORT NOLA announced that the service moved 20,500 containers by barge in 2023, a record number for the service.

“We are poised to expand this service even further in the coming years,” said Port NOLA President and CEO Brandy D. Christian. “This is one more example of Port NOLA working alongside our partners to provide innovative solutions for global supply chain disruptions while simultaneously honoring a commitment to sustainability.”

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The service reduced more than 1.3 million kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and saved more than 130,000 gallons of diesel fuel in 2023. Since 2016, the accumulated (CO2) emissions reduction is more than 10.4. million kg.

Following six years of annual net decreases in tonnage volume, the Port of South Louisiana announced in March that 2023 brought a second consecutive year of net increases in 2023. Last year the port handled a record-high 248,130,992 short tons of cargo.

In February, the port also announced a new company would be coming to its Globalplex site in Reserve. Life for Tyres Group Limited, a European tire recycling company, is investing $46 million to establish its first U.S. processing facility on the site’s 10 acres.

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The company said its recycling and manufacturing plant, L4T Louisiana LLC, will convert “end-of-life tires into high-quality sustainable commodities such as advanced biofuel feedstock, recovered carbon black and scrap steel.”

“While navigating the complexities of global trade, the Port of South Louisiana has not only reversed a historical trend with a remarkable surge in cargo but also demonstrated adaptability and resilience in an ever-evolving market,” remarked PortSL Board of Commissioners Chairman Ryan Burks. “As we witness transformative initiatives like the Life for Tyres project and the construction of the second dock access bridge, these endeavors underscore our commitment to sustainable practices and operational excellence. It’s a testament to the port’s strategic vision and the collaborative efforts of our dedicated team which is driving progress, sustainability, and prosperity for our region.”

On March 6, Norfolk, Virginia-based Capes Shipping Agencies — a leading provider of vessel agency and cargo forwarding services in the United States — announced the opening of its newest offices in New Orleans. A subsidiary of CV International, Inc. (CVI), Capes Shipping’s new office at One Galleria Boulevard in Metairie will be managed by Mississippi River veterans Ron Soldani and Marshall Adams.

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“We have been handling vessels on the Mississippi River for a few years now, and new opportunities made it the right time to establish a permanent presence in the U.S. Gulf,” explained CVI Vice President and General Manager Steve Hagen.

Founded in 1958, Capes Shipping Agencies provides port agency services along the U.S. East and Gulf coasts.

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On March 6 and 7, Inland River Ports and Terminals’ We Work the Waterways introduced hundreds of high school students from St. John the Baptist Parish and surrounding areas to the range of career paths the maritime industry has to offer. The event included presentations, tours, hands-on learning and engagement opportunities with maritime representatives at Port of South Louisiana and Cargill, Inc.

“We Work the Waterways opens doors to create generational wealth for families, helps to build a skilled workforce for industry that keeps our kids right here at home in Louisiana,” said PortSL CEO Paul Matthews.

Event partners included AccuTRANS, American Barge Line, Associated Terminals, Cargill, Cooper Consolidated, Crescent Towing, Ingram Barge Company, Louisiana CAT, Open Waters, Turn Services, Mississippi Valley Trade and Transport Council, Marquette Transportation, Wood Resources LLC, Consortium for Public Education, Furgo USA, Women In Maritime Operations, Port of South Louisiana and Cargill, Inc.

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