September 12, 2006
Port of New Orleans restarting commercial operations
The Port of New Orleans is on target to restart commercial operations. Today, steel coils will be shipped by barge to an Alabama auto manufacturer, and on Wednesday the port is expected to work its first containership.
The port is also expected to handle an important component of the post-hurricane relief effort today: three large diesel generators that will be used to power pumping stations.
"We are committed to restarting commercial cargo operations at this Port as soon as possible because the cargo we handle has a significant impact on the economy of the region and the nation," said Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange.
"Hurricane Katrina damaged the port, and we are currently able to handle a small fraction of our normal activity. Nevertheless, we are taking important first steps to getting the New Orleans economy primed and re-establishing our relationships with our customers," he said
Last week, LaGrange set a goal for the Port of New Orleans to work its first ship on Wednesday, Sept. 14.
Coastal Cargo Co. was scheduled to load 4,500 tons of steel coils onto barge on today, Sept 12th starting as early as 8 a.m. at the Louisiana Avenue Terminal. The steel, which is already at Coastal's transit shed, will be loaded onto three barges and shipped to Mobile, Ala. They will then be loaded onto truck and sent to an automobile manufacturing facility in Greenville, Ala.
C-River Logistics, a Louisiana Company, is providing the barges for the shipment that will mark the first movement of commercial cargo for the Port since Hurricane Katrina.
Coastal Cargo has been in touch with many of its employees, and some employees have been working at the company's Houston operations in the days following the storm. Now, about 30 of those employees have returned to work in New Orleans. Some are staying at homes that are outside of the mandatory evacuation zones. Some are staying in trailers or campers. Some are staying on board Maritime Administration ships that the Department of Transportation provided to help the Port with its operations.
On Sept. 16th or 17th, Coastal Cargo is expecting a ship called the Talhouca and will work about 21,000 tons of cold rolled steel for Thyssen Krupp AG.
The Lykes Flyer will be the first commercial container vessel scheduled to call on the Port of New Orleans. It is expected to dock at the Nashville C and be worked by P&O Ports on Wednesday.
Today, P&O Ports will be loading three generators onto barges for the Corps of Engineers that will be used to power pumping stations. The generators arrived to the Nashville Avenue Complex on board trucks.
Starting as early as 8 a.m., they will be placed on barges and floated to Pump Station 19, the Citrus Pumping Station, and Pump Station 15. Empire Stevedoring Inc., which leases the First Street Wharf from the Port of New Orleans, is expected to work a steel ship sometime this week.
The Mississippi River is open to ships with a draft of 41 feet during daylight hours only.