Strengthening Our Connections

The Mississippi River connects the Port of New Orleans with markets around the world. Regularly, we are asked about our ability to handle post-Panamax vessels. Our answer? Yes, we already do. Looking to the future, we also support the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers consideration of a project to deepen the Mississippi Channel to 50 feet, matching the controlling draft on the third set of locks on the Panama Canal. Economic benefits potentially include $11.5 billion in U.S. production, 17,000 new jobs and a nearly $90 to $1 benefit to cost ratio.

Our Connections Run Deep, the advertising slogan we developed to emphasize Port NOLA’s deep-draft advantage, is now being used more broadly. The phrase helps convey our commitment to global commerce and efficient goods movement, and it reinforces our renewed emphasis on collaborative local partnerships.

 We understand that connections of all kinds are critical to our success. I’d like to share some recent examples of our efforts to build productive relationships within and beyond the maritime industry.

 In early April, the Port of New Orleans hosted the 9th annual, newly rebranded Cargo Connections Conference. Attendees reconnected with colleagues or met for the first time while discussing timely and important topics such as carrier consolidations and alliances, market trends, implications of trade policy issues, and other challenges and opportunities. Our panelists and keynote speakers gave us plenty to appreciate and ponder.

As we look to the future, we are updating our strategic Master Plan. Knowing that our decisions impact the local community, we are consciously including our stakeholders both inside and outside the maritime industry in the process.

 During the first phase, as we studied industry trends, we solicited opinions from our business partners. Now, we are delving deeper and exploring the best ways to move forward, so we can invest strategically for the future. Accordingly, we have expanded our outreach and are using the planning process to educate the community about the Port, our operations and our value.

 We hosted four two-hour “Dock Talks” which included both an informative presentation and an opportunity for open-ended discussion on Port topics. To ensure we are able to capture a range of opinions, the Port also initiated a survey that allows respondents to rank various measures on how the Port impacts their lives, such as jobs, environmental considerations and traffic. We consider this the beginning of a more robust and ongoing conversation with all of our stakeholders. If you would like to contribute, please consider completing the survey, which can be accessed on our website: portno.com/masterplan.

We’d also like to better connect with you, the Port Record subscriber. We want to understand why you read the publication. If you’d like to contribute ideas for future issues or let us know what section you read first and value most, please email our editor, Jenny Schecter at schecterj@portno.com.

Thanks and enjoy the issue.

Brandy D. Christian
President and CEO