Port of New Orleans

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Port of New Orleans
MSC Marina docked at Port of New Orleans.jpg
Container ship is unloaded at the Napoleon Avenue terminal
LocationNew Orleans, Louisiana
Draft depth45 feet
Air draft170 feet, restricted by Crescent City Connection bridge

The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) is a modern multimodal gateway for global trade, and is also a thriving embarkation port for cruise passengers. It is also Louisiana’s only international container port.

Port NOLA generates $100 million in revenue annually through its four lines of business – cargo (46%), rail (31%), cruise (16%), and industrial real estate (7%). As a self-sustaining political subdivision of the State of Louisiana, the Port receives zero tax dollars.

Port NOLA offers a diverse cargo profile to serve its global supply chain partners, including container, breakbulk, heavy lift, temperature-sensitive cargo and bulk transload.

In 1946 a foreign trade zone was established in the port.[1][2] The New Orleans FTZ has more individual warehouses and sites under its umbrella than any other U.S. port-administered FTZ.

Port NOLA is also Green Marine certified, a voluntary North American environmental certification program for the maritime, port, and terminal industry.


The Napoleon intermodal railyard allows for containers to be transported by train.

Port NOLA is a diverse deepwater port uniquely located on the Mississippi River near the Gulf of Mexico - with access to 30-plus major inland hubs such as Memphis, Chicago, and Canada via 14,500 miles of waterways, 6 Class I railroads, and interstate roadways. The acquisition of New Orleans Public Belt Railroad strengthens its position as an integrated hub and supports its vision for regional freight-based economic development.

Port NOLA is a diverse general cargo port, handling containerized cargo such as plastic resins, food products, consumer merchandise; and breakbulk cargo such as steel, metals, rubber, wood, and paper.

Facility investment and terminal operations[edit]

State, port, and private companies have invested nearly $1 billion in infrastructure and facilities at Port NOLA, and another another billion of investment is planned with private partnerships.

Containerized Cargo Momentum: Port NOLA is the only deepwater container port in Louisiana. Volumes surpassed the 500,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU threshold five years in a row. Port NOLA continues to attract new services and ocean carriers including: all three-major mega-container carrier alliances, direct all-water container service to Asia and direct South America service to Brazil.

  • 840,000 annual TEU capacity with six gantry cranes to handle 10,000 TEU vessels.
  • Four new 100-foot gauge gantry cranes ordered spring/summer 2019 and under construction.
  • Regular container-on-barge services and on-dock rail access with the Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal.
  • New Orleans Public Belt Railroad provides the Port, Class I partners and shippers an on-dock intermodal advantage.

Premium Breakbulk Capabilities: Breakbulk and heavy lift are a strong focus at Port NOLA.

  • 13,511 feet of berthing space available at six dedicated breakbulk terminals ideally suited for a broad spectrum of breakbulk cargo including heavy lift/ project and cold storage.
  • 1.6 million square feet of transit shed area for the temporary storage of breakbulk cargo; and ability to discharge directly to/from barge.
  • 140,000-square-foot dockside cold storage facility, the Henry Clay Avenue Refrigerated Terminal.

Cruise terminal facilities[edit]

New Orleans is the sixth largest cruise port in the United States, and demand for cruising from the Big Easy is growing for both Caribbean and river itineraries. Port NOLA has topped one million cruise passenger movements annually for the past five years, breaking its own record each time.

The Port of New Orleans’ two state-of-the-art cruise terminals with secured parking are located in the heart of the city near the historic French Quarter, family attractions, shopping, dining and hotels. Erato Street Cruise Terminal offers more than 1,000 parking spots within the terminal, while the Julia Street Cruise Terminal, right next door to Erato, offers secured parking adjacent to the terminal.

The Port of New Orleans has a cruise terminal that accommodates cruise lines such as Carnival, Norwegian, and ACCL.

Carnival and Norwegian sail weekly to destinations in the Eastern and Western Caribbean and Bahamas. Disney Cruise Line sails six cruises in 2020 from New Orleans. Royal Caribbean International returns with the Enchantment of the Seas in 2020 as well. Riverine cruises are a growing sector at Port NOLA. American Queen Steamboat Company and American Cruise Lines offer cruises along the coast and the nation’s inland river system.

Port NOLA Forward master plan[edit]

The Port of New Orleans’ Strategic Master Plan, “Port NOLA Forward,” is a bold vision to deliver significant, sustained economic benefit throughout the Port’s three-parish jurisdiction — Jefferson, Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes.

The Strategic Master Plan positions Port NOLA to think more cohesively about growing the vital maritime and hospitality industries, and to consider the supply chain as a whole by harnessing all available multimodal assets — on and off Port property, along the Mississippi River and inland waterway system, on the New Orleans Public Belt and six Class I rail network, and via access to interstate highways.

Port NOLA’s vision for regional freight-based economic development encompasses the supply chain as a whole and relies on all sectors to drive freight-based business expansion to fuel the regional economy. In recognizing the need for efficient infrastructure, a supply chain-ready workforce, and capital investment from all sectors, Port NOLA and a broad range of stakeholders can collaborate to collectively drive the region’s economic growth.

The Port NOLA Strategic Master Plan is a broad and adaptive way forward for the Port, its stakeholders, and the entire region. Its four guiding goals are:

  • Operate efficiently
  • Capitalize on gateway position
  • Strengthen relationships and connect our stakeholders
  • Develop sustainably

The plan presents a menu of strategies to optimize current assets and extend reach across all four business lines.


The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans governs the port. The Board sets policies and regulates traffic and commerce. It is made up of seven unsalaried commissioners who serve five-year staggered terms. The governor of Louisiana appoints board members from a list of three nominees submitted by 19 local business, civic, labor, education, and maritime groups. The seven-person board reflects its three-parish (county) jurisdiction. Four members are selected from Orleans Parish, two from Jefferson Parish, and one from St. Bernard Parish.[3]

Board members[edit]

  • Arnold B. Baker – Chairman
  • Tara C. Hernandez – Vice-Chair
  • Darryl D. Berger – Secretary- Treasurer
  • William H. Langenstein – Member
  • Charles H. Ponstein – Member
  • Jack C. Jensen, Jr. – Member
  • Joseph F. Toomy - Member


Executive management[edit]

  • Brandy D. Christian – President and CEO
  • Andree Fant - VP, Planning and Facilities
  • Michelle Ganon -VP, Public Affairs
  • Bobby Landry - VP, Chief Commercial Officer
  • Ronald Wendel - CAO/CFO and VP, Finance and Administration


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Susan Tiefenbrun (2012), Tax Free Trade Zones of the World and in the United States, Edward Elgar, p. 57, ISBN 9781849802437
  2. ^ "Merchandise Received and Exports: Top 25, 2015", Annual Report of the Foreign-Trade Zones Board to the Congress of the United States, 2016
  3. ^ "The Port of New Orleans". Overview. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Port of New Orleans". People. Retrieved 25 June 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°56′13″N 90°03′43″W / 29.93694°N 90.06194°W / 29.93694; -90.06194