Posted by Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby, Administrator Maritime Administration
The United States’ 100 ports are essential drivers of the American economy providing $1.5 trillion in U.S. foreign trade and nearly 400,000 jobs. The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) is a good example of the impact ports have on the nation’s economic growth and sustainability.
I recently had the opportunity to visit Port NOLA to get a firsthand look at their operations. The Port of New Orleans handles about 62 million short tons of cargo a year. To put that into perspective, the amount of cargo that they’ve unloaded could fill the Superdome more than five-and-a-half times.
The Port of New Orleans has made significant investments to ensure state-of-the-art facilities that can meet the demands of the over 2,000 vessel calls per year. Through its Port Conveyance Program, MARAD is helping Port NOLA to expand. On October 27 2017, MARAD transferred control of the former Harahan FSS Depot in Jefferson Parish, LA to the port for use as a warehouse. The future warehouse will increase the port’s overall capacity. Nearly 2,800 acres have been provided to support expansion and development to U.S. ports through the Port Conveyance Program since 1996.
We must support investments in port modernization to remain competitive in the global marketplace. As Secretary Elaine Chao wrote in Seaport Magazine, “Our ports must be able to accommodate increasing growth… and be brought up- to- date and modernized through smart investments in order to do the essential job of moving freight safely and seamlessly from the heartland to international markets – American industry and jobs depend on this.” MARAD stands ready to support our ports and to ensure strong future for America’s waterways.