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Port of New Orleans Container-on-Barge Service Sets New Record

NEW ORLEANS – The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) has recorded a remarkable 20,500 container moves by barge in the calendar year 2023. This milestone, the highest since the inception of the service in 2016 in collaboration with the Port of Greater Baton Rouge and Ingram Marine Group, solidifies their position as the largest container-on-barge network in the U.S., extending connectivity to the heartland of the nation.

The innovative container-on-barge service prioritizes sustainability by transporting containers via water routes, significantly reducing air emissions. With an annual average movement of 30,000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) between New Orleans, the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, Memphis, and St. Louis, the service presents an eco-friendly alternative to traditional truck-based transport.

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Brandy D. Christian, President & CEO of Port NOLA, expressed enthusiasm about the record-setting achievement, stating, “We are poised to expand this service even further in the coming years. 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.”

The environmental impact of this service is noteworthy, with a reduction of over 1.3 million kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and savings of more than 130,000 gallons of diesel fuel in the year 2023 alone. Since its inception in 2016, the cumulative reduction in CO2 emissions exceeds 10.4 million kilograms.

Port NOLA acknowledges the invaluable partnership with the Port of Greater Baton Rouge and Ingram Marine Group, emphasizing the service’s role in repositioning empty containers efficiently and offering shippers alternative and eco-conscious transportation methods.

Jay Hardman, P.E., Executive Director of the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, expressed pride in the collaborative effort, stating, “These record-breaking numbers for our container-on-barge service are a direct result of our collective effort to create a stronger and more resilient supply chain.”

John Roberts, President and CEO of Ingram Marine Group, highlighted their commitment to sustainability and the thriving maritime economy, stating, “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.”

Looking ahead, Port NOLA’s Louisiana International Terminal (LIT) is set to expand container-on-barge services. LIT, currently in the design and permitting phase, is committed to incorporating cutting-edge green technologies, including shore power and an electrified equipment fleet, contributing to a significant reduction in emissions.

Port NOLA’s recent federal grant awards of $300 million for the Louisiana International Terminal emphasize the strategic importance of the project in driving economic growth and job creation. With commitments from industry giants like Ports America and Mediterranean Shipping Company, the $1.8 billion container terminal is slated to begin construction in 2025, with the first berth opening in 2028.

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