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4 new gantry cranes at Port NOLA part of multimillion-dollar expansion

$112 million investment will make port more competitive in global trade, officials say

With the arrival of the gantry cranes, the Port of New Orleans will be able to handle ships in the 8,000-to-9,500-TEU range more efficiently. (Photo: Port NOLA)

After more than a month sailing around the world from where they were made in Shanghai, four 1,600-ton container gantry cranes recently arrived at the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal at the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA).

With the arrival of the gantry cranes, Port NOLA will be able to handle ships in the 8,000-to-9,500-TEU range more efficiently.

“Containerized cargo has more than doubled over the last decade at Port NOLA, and this investment positions Louisiana to grow as a major economic engine and job creator,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a statement.

The four, 100-foot tall cranes, unveiled during a ceremony Friday, are scheduled to begin work at the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal early next year.

China-based Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co. LTD manufactured the cranes. It delivered them on Thursday. The cranes are fully electric with zero diesel emissions and can reach containerized cargo stacked 20 containers high across any ship.

The four new cranes are essential to Port NOLA’s overall expansion, which includes optimizing facilities in New Orleans and building the $1.5 billion Louisiana International Terminal, a 350-acre container terminal, in St. Bernard Parish.

“This investment makes Port NOLA more competitive in the global trade-based economy and increases efficiency through the Louisiana gateway and helps fuel our economy,” said Brandy Christian, Port NOLA’s president and CEO.

Port NOLA’s total trade with the world was $13.4 billion in October, an increase of 34% from the same month a year ago. Exports increased 29% while imports rose 40%.

Port NOLA ranked No. 7 for total trade in October among the nation’s roughly 450 airports, seaports and border crossings, according to a WorldCity analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. It had ranked No. 9 for the same month last year.

Port NOLA’s top three exports in October were soybeans, civilian aircraft and parts, and cell phones and related equipment.

The port’s top three imports were gasoline and other fuels, plasma/vaccines/blood and returned exports, without change. 

New Orleans dry van outbound tender rejection rates were 18.34% this past weekend as outbound freight volumes remained flat at 44.20 index points.

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]