Inside the Industry: Maritime

Port of New Orleans

While many people remember the Louisiana Purchase’s significance, doubling the United States in size, fewer people know exactly why the purchase was made—the States simply couldn’t survive without access to the Mississippi River and the French-owned Port of New Orleans.

“The city of New Orleans and the Port should be looked at as synonymous,” says Gary LaGrange, president & CEO of the Port of New Orleans. “One hand washes the other hand, and both hands wash the face,” he says, noting the Port’s economic impact not just on the city, but the state and nation. Cargo activities at the Port are responsible for more than 165,000 jobs in Louisiana and more than $17 billion in spending statewide. In 2014, $406 million in cruise line spending supported 8,129 jobs in Louisiana.

Connected via the Mississippi River to 31 states and three Canadian provinces, the Port has always been one of the most commercially vibrant in the world. Under the guidance of LaGrange, the Port has continued to adapt, thrive, and grow following the security challenges of September 11, 2001, and the city’s devastation due to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Today, it is experiencing record highs.

In 2014 the Port marked a 14-year high in regards to cargo tonnage, and topped 1 million annual cruise passengers for the first time. To stay ahead of the curve, nearly $40 million in new investments are under construction and nearing completion at the Port’s Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal, and a third cruise terminal is in the planning stages.

Gary LaGrange, President and Chief Executive Officer
1350 Port of New Orleans Place / New Orleans, LA 70130 / (504) 522-2551 /



Categories: Maritime, The Magazine