Business, Feature, Freight News, Sea

Port of South Louisiana Stacks Success

[ April 5, 2024   //   ]

The Port of South Louisiana, or PortSL, has experienced a remarkable upturn in its fourth quarter results, revealing a surge of nearly 10 million short tons of cargo and a 3.7 percent increase in 2023 cargo.
It marked the second substantial annual increase for the second-largest U.S. tonnage port, with 248.1 million short tons following on from 239.3 million short tons in 2022. The reversal follows six-year trend of annual net decreases. Port staff say the rebound underscores PortSL’s adaptability and resilience in responding to evolving market dynamics. Further, the port’s recent fiscal year achieved its highest revenue in history.
“Numbers tell the story, and the Port of South Louisiana is telling a tale of resurgence,” said PortSL CEO Paul Matthews. “Through relentless innovation and strategic leaps, we’re scripting a narrative of growth and the recent tonnage numbers underscore our port’s global appeal and versatility. Our team is focused on strengthening our partnerships with global shippers and industry along the Mississippi River, demonstrating that the Port of South Louisiana is ‘A Better Way to Cargo.’ ”
A few notable cargo statistics (in short tons) found in Port of South Louisiana’s 2023 tonnage report:

  • Animal Feed 40 percent increase to 12.1 million short tons.
  • Concrete/Stone Products 16 percent increase to 2.9 million short tons.
  • Crude Oil 17 percent increase to 59.0 million short tons.
  • Chemicals/Fertilizers 75 percent increase to 30.5 million short tons.
  • Sugar/Molasses 463 percent increase to 218,005 short tons.
  • Wheat 13 percent increase to 3.8 million short tons.

Sustainable Practices

The construction of a second dock access bridge leading to PortSL’s Globalplex general cargo dock aims to enhance the terminal’s dependability, optimize cargo transfer efficiency by enabling trucks to follow a circular route for loading and unloading on the dock, and facilitate the handling of heavy loads, including oversized equipment, port staff said.
Recently, Louisiana Economic Development announced Life for Tyres Group’s transformative initiative at the Port of South Louisiana, and a US$46 million commitment to establish L4T Louisiana LLC at Globalplex. The move positions PortSL as a hub for sustainable practices, creating jobs and contributing to environmental responsibility, and part of the port’s vision for a dynamic and responsible port.
“As we witness transformative initiatives like the Life for Tyres project and the construction of the second dock access bridge, these endeavors underscore our commitment to sustainable practices and operational excellence,” said PortSL Board of Commissioners Chairman Ryan Burks.
PortSL’s 54-mile port district on the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, encompasses the parishes of St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. James. It ranks as the No. 1 U.S. grain exporter and No. 2 U.S. energy transfer port. Port SL is home to seven grain transfer facilities, four major oil refineries, 11 petrochemical manufacturing facilities and several other facilities, including the Executive Regional Airport.

Port of Savannah has reversed a six-year trend of cargo declines. PHOTO: Port of South Louisiana