The Port of New Orleans has secured $800 million toward a planned $1.8 billion container facility on the Lower Mississippi River.
The Louisiana International Terminal facility, which will be capable of handling 2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) annually, recently received funding from Ports America and Mediterranean Shipping Company investment arm Terminal Investment Limited (TiL).
Construction of the terminal will also be supported by commitments from the Port of New Orleans, as well as state and federal funding. The joint venture will operate the terminal upon completion.
“This public-private partnership with the Port of New Orleans, TiL and Ports America has the potential to become one of the most impactful economic development projects in our state’s history,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a news release. “It leverages the economic power of our greatest natural resource — the Mississippi River — and enhances Louisiana’s ability to attract new investment from companies competing in the global marketplace.”
New Jersey-based Ports America is the largest marine terminal operator and stevedore in North America, operating in more than 33 ports across 70 locations.
Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Company is one of the world’s leading container shipping lines, sailing on more than 260 trade routes and calling at 520 ports.
Plans for the Louisiana International Terminal entail a 350-acre container facility with a 3,500-linear-foot wharf on more than 1,000 acres. The Louisiana International Terminal will leverage the deeper 50-foot Lower Mississippi River Ship Channel and help vessels avoid height restrictions from Mississippi River bridges farther up the river, officials said.
The project aims to serve vessels of all sizes, including ultra-large container ships. The Louisiana International Terminal’s estimated opening will be in 2028.
“We are very excited to announce this partnership that will strengthen Port of New Orleans competitiveness, making it a key facility in the Gulf of Mexico,” Tom Van Eynde, TiL investment director for North America, said in a statement. “… The container trade at the port mainly consists of export cargo, making it an exception among U.S. ports, which are usually import-heavy.”
Van Eynde said the terminal will attract new container trades, providing access for local industry to cost-competitive shipping options.
“The development of this facility cements TiL’s commitment to further strengthen American infrastructure, making the Port of New Orleans accessible for larger vessels and increasing its throughput capacity in a sustainable way that will bring measurable benefits to the community,” Van Eynde said.
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