As a neutral carrier with the primary mission of serving the Port of New Orleans and local industries, New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB) plans to add more tracks and reconfigure its second-largest yard over the next three years. “Our local business is growing,” CEO Jeff Davis says. “Local customers’ forecasts for traffic is pretty robust.”

The NOPB plans to add a third track just off the eastern abutment of the Huey P. Long Bridge, which is owned by the railroad, and reconfigure the tracks in the second-largest of its four yards as well as add some track length to handle capacity growth. “This will allow us to do switching for our customers’ traffic closer to their industry and allow for greater capacity,” Davis explains. “As their companies grow we will be able to grow with them and handle the additional car loads.” 

No matter where in the world a product or piece of machinery needs to go, World Shipping can get it there. “We’re a middle-market company that’s focused on high-service delivery to the discerning international shipper,” President and CEO Fred Hunger says. 

World Shipping’s advantage in the logistics market stems from the ability to coordinate and connect its subsidiary companies, each of which specializes in aspects of the supply chain. “We tie together our assets, such as trucks, chassis, tank fleet, warehouses with our customs house brokerage, import/export teams, international offices and deep-sea operations. There’s virtually no international logistics move that we can’t solve or perform with our group,” Hunger explains.

In 2002, when the U.S. government imposed a tariff on imported steel, the Port of New Orleans realized that 37 percent of its shipments were of imported steel. “That helped us to understand that we needed to diversify a little more and put our eggs in more baskets,” President and CEO Gary LaGrange relates.

Now the number of baskets the Port of New Orleans has would keep the Easter Bunny busy for a week. “We’re a very diversified port,” LaGrange emphasizes. “We like to think that we don’t have a single specialty – we have six. The cornerstone of the port is break-bulk cargo, the cargo that doesn’t go into containers, that’s on pallets and wrapped with metal bands. We have heavy-lift and project cargo capabilities. We can bring in large pieces of equipment that go into refineries and plants, put them onto a barge and send them up 14,500 miles of waterways into 22 states and four provinces of Canada without touching land or having to meet a weight restriction on highways.”

With a legacy that stretches back for a century, the Port of Palm Beach continues to demonstrate how to efficiently operate a port while looking for ways to improve its infrastructure. Chartered in 1915, the port is based in Riviera Beach, Fla., about 80 miles north of Miami and 135 miles south of Port Canaveral. The Port of Palm Beach is ranked as one of the top 20 ports in the United States, operating on revenue earned by its tenants.

“Like all ports, we are always faced with cost challenges around capital improvement,” Executive Director Manuel Almira says. “But we are a very efficient port and have been able to make infrastructure improvements.”  

In 1998, the Port of Anchorage undertook a master planning effort to examine the port’s future physical needs and determine whether it needed to expand. This effort reached a turning point in 2014, when it released a “2023 Business Plan” that made recommendations for capital projects. Since its release, that plan has been further honed to reflect the port’s economic and demographic reality.

“Our business is fairly stable and predictable, and hasn’t changed very much since 1998,” Port Director Steve Ribuffo says. “There are 750,000 people in the state, and we support about 80 percent of them; they only eat so much and buy new clothes only so often, and fill their gas tanks once a week.”

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