Globalplex Terminal Continues to Strengthen
Updates at the Port of South Louisiana’s hub, particularly to its cargo dock, will keep the facility competitive and satisfy the needs of its tenants for years to come.
Port of South Louisiana Executive Director Paul Aucoin knows that the evolution and regular improvement of Globalplex – essentially the calling card for this 54-mile long economic epicenter – remains paramount to increased trade along the river and the benefits that come with it.
That’s why the nearly quarter-century old facility has undergone a massive makeover since Aucoin’s tenure began a few years ago, and why new installations and necessary improvements at Globalplex won’t cease anytime soon.
The latest Globalplex project involves strengthening and fortifying the cargo dock, allowing mobile cranes to traverse the entire area while moving a substantial weight. Currently, the dock has two cranes that can operate with limited movement along a rail. The dock is capable of handling the weight of the crane on the rail line, but not the entire surface area. The project will cost a little more than $8 million, while the price of the mobile cranes will land somewhere around $14 million. Aucoin says the Port will soon be requesting construction bids for the dock project.
Besides being vital for general cargo needs, Aucoin points to the Port’s ability to attract high-dollar “heavy-lift projects” as another reason to strengthen the infrastructure on and around the dock.
“Everybody said, ‘When you replace those (two) cranes, you have to go with the mobile cranes,’” Aucoin says. “Well, they’re right. They’re much more efficient and cheaper, but in order to use them, you have to make sure your whole dock can hold up that load, not just where the rail is. These mobile cranes can go anywhere, but to allow them to go anywhere, your dock needs to be strong everywhere.”
Globalplex, which is operated by Associated Terminals, looks a lot different than it did five years ago. The $22 million Finger Pier extension inflated the number of new vessel calls by the dozens upon its completion. On the same day the Finger Pier was dedicated, the Port also christened the Maritime Security Operations Center at Globalplex – providing safe haven to manage emergencies within the Port.
“The recent changes at Globalplex have been significant,” Aucoin says. “But there’s still more that can be done. For instance, also in the plans is a rail system at Globalplex that connects the CN railroad with the Kansas City Southern railroad. This will be invaluable because once that cargo gets off the ship, you have to get it to your final destination, and for us, that’s by truck or train. So if we can make it easier to allow the use of either rail line, that just makes us more competitive.
“Really, Globalplex improvements will be an on-going process,” Aucoin continues. “It’ll keep changing after I’m gone because you have to keep meeting the needs of the people who use our port.”
Speaking of tenant needs, the Port is also addressing those through structural additions and maintenance to buildings it leases to companies. The warehouse at Building 19, currently occupied by Barton Mines, will undergo a 72,000 square foot expansion costing $12.2 million. The Port is also pouring $3 million into an updated warehouse and new conveyor system at Building 71 where LaFarge Concrete operates.
“If my math is correct, in total, we have about $55 million worth of projects going on right now, and it’s all important stuff,” Aucoin says. “Whether it’s building something new or reinforcing or repairing an aging infrastructure, you have to do it to remain competitive with the other ports in other states – Georgia, Alabama, for instance. And the plus side is, new construction creates immediate new jobs and future new jobs when the project is complete.
“So all of this is important in keeping us as the Largest Tonnage Port and toward strengthening the unbelievable economic impact that the Port has on the entire region.”
By William Kalec
Growing Commerce & Prosperity
Port of South Louisiana Executive Director appointed to Louisiana board of international commerce by Governor Edwards
On Friday Aug. 5, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced the appointment of Port of South Louisiana Executive Director Paul G. Aucoin to the Louisiana Board of International Commerce (LaBIC).
LaBIC, whose distinguished members serve in all capacities of trade and business development, was formed to advance Louisiana’s international commerce initiatives in an effort to enhance the state’s position in international trade by attracting foreign and domestic investment and boosting the state’s trade-based economy. Aucoin, who has successfully served as executive director of the Port of South Louisiana for the past three years, will serve as a representative of international ports.
“I’m honored to serve on this important board. I appreciate Governor John Bel Edwards for appointing me to the board and look forward to increasing Louisiana’s international trade,” says Aucion.
Aucoin was nominated by the River Region Chamber of Commerce and the Port of South Louisiana. Prior to his engagement as executive director, he was Port of South Louisiana’s legal counsel. Aucoin has served as director and chairman of various organizations including current appointments to the World Trade Center of New Orleans Board of Directors, the River Region Chamber of Commerce and the St. James Parish Economic Development Board. Aucoin, born and raised in St. John the Baptist Parish, has been practicing law since receiving his Juris Doctor from Loyola University Law School in 1970.
By Alexandra Hernández
Port Receives Recognition
Port of South Louisiana receives awards of merit from American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)
On Monday, July 18th, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) announced the recipients of the 2016 AAPA Communication Awards Program. The Port of South Louisiana (PSL) received two Awards of Merit from the organization: one for the quarterly PortLog journal and the other for website re-design.
“I am very proud of the staff in our Business Development department for achieving these awards for our PortLog and our website. Being recognized by AAPA is very gratifying and we appreciate it,” said Port of South Louisiana Executive Director Paul G. Aucoin.
After much encouragement and deep consideration, the Port of South Louisiana contracted Renaissance Publishing Company to implement quarterly editions of its PortLog, which is distributed to over 3,000 companies around the U.S. In the past, the Port of South Louisiana seemed to have a lack of name recognition even though it is the largest tonnage port in the Western Hemisphere. PSL’s goal to increase awareness and solidify its identity is paramount, especially within the conscious mind of its target audience [those in the maritime industry (e.g., shipping agents, freight forwarders, barge companies, etc.) and site selectors]. Fortunately, the Port of South Louisiana has seen an increase in PortLog readership since the publication went quarterly and the response received has been positive.
Nowadays, technological advances happen in a blink of an eye. And with the times, the Port of South Louisiana’s internet presence needed updating. In March, PSL launched its redesigned website (PortSL.com), which aims at versatility and aesthetics, both crucial elements when making a first impression to online visitors. The end product delivered by Curran & Connors, who worked closely with PSL’s business development department, was a modern, mobile-friendly site with enhanced features, easy navigation, and improved search capabilities that highlight the Port of South Louisiana and the region, economic development information for potential investors, and resources for site selectors, industry, companies, government officials, and the community.
The 2016 AAPA Communications Awards Program, which had a May 1 deadline for entries, utilized 48 professional public relations practitioners from the Washington, D.C. area who cumulatively spent nearly 200 hours over three weeks judging the 15 classifications of entries, ranging from advertisements and periodicals to videos and websites. Based on the number of points awarded each entry by the judges, the Port of South Louisiana received two Awards of Merit. AAPA will recognize 25 seaports for exemplary communications projects and programs at its annual convention and awards luncheon this fall. Winning entrants in AAPA’s 50th annual Communications Awards Program will be recognized at an Oct. 26 awards luncheon in conjunction with AAPA’s 105th Annual Convention and Expo in New Orleans, which runs Oct. 23 – 26.
By Alexandra Hernández