Port NOLA container-on-barge service sets new record

(NEW ORLEANS) — The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) marked 20,500 container moves by barge during 2023, the highest since starting the service in 2016 with the Port of Greater Baton Rouge and Ingram Marine Group. The partnership represents the largest container-on-barge network in the U.S. with connectivity to the nation’s heartland.

Container-on-barge service moves containers by water rather than by truck on roads to reduce air emissions, moving an average of 30,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year between New Orleans, the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, Memphis, Tenn., and St. Louis, Mo.

“We are poised to expand this service even further in the coming years,” said Port NOLA President and CEO Brandy 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.”

Port NOLA photo

The service cut more than 1.3 million kilograms 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 kilograms.

Port NOLA values its ongoing partnership with the Port of Greater Baton Rouge and Ingram Marine Group to offer this vital weekly service that repositions empty containers where they can be used and offers shippers alternative ways to move their goods.

“We are proud to be a part of the thriving maritime economy of the Port of New Orleans, which includes a growing container-on-barge system,” said Ingram Marine Group President and CEO John Roberts. “Our recent creation of Ingram Infrastructure Group, fueled in part by our acquisition of SCF, has greatly increased our presence in the container-on-barge market, as well as our material handling capabilities and ability to provide end-to-end supply chain solutions for our customers. As such, we are positioned to build on the incredible success of 2023 in partnership with the Port of New Orleans and Ports America, as well as carriers and shippers, and look forward to continuing our container-on-barge services with them.”

Like the Uptown Napoleon Container Terminal, Port NOLA’s downriver container terminal, the Louisiana International Terminal (LIT), will also be equipped to provide container-on-barge services. LIT will allow container-on-barge to expand with a dedicated berth space designed for this service.

LIT, currently in the design and permitting phase, will also incorporate the latest green technologies. That includes shore power, allowing vessels to plug in at the dock, eliminating the need to run diesel engines. This can cut local vessel emissions by up to 98 percent. Operators also plan to invest in an electrified equipment fleet, further reducing local emissions impacts.

Earlier this year, Port NOLA announced that it has been awarded an additional $226 million in federal funding to assist in building the Louisiana International Terminal.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) notified Congress that it intends to award this funding through its Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) competitive grant program, which aims to advance the Biden administration’s priorities to rebuild U.S. infrastructure through funding of multimodal freight and highway projects.

In addition to the $226 million INFRA grant, the U.S. DOT recently awarded Port NOLA $73.7 million through its MEGA grant program, totaling $300 million in federal grant dollars to support the first construction phase of the $1.8 billion container terminal. The recent federal awards are in addition to significant private industry partner commitments as well those from the state of Louisiana and Port NOLA. LIT has also garnered support from more than a dozen ports in six states as well as major trade and agriculture associations throughout the heartland of America.

New Jersey-based Ports America, one of North America’s largest marine terminal operators, and Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Co., through its terminal development and investment arm Terminal Investment Ltd. (TiL), have also committed $800 million toward the project.

Construction is slated to begin in 2025 and the first berth to open in 2028.

– Port NOLA

By Professional Mariner Staff