Port of South Louisiana Posts Record Tonnage Numbers


Published Jan 25, 2018 8:03 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Port of South Louisiana may not be the busiest container port in the U.S., but it is easily the nation's busiest by tonnage. 

The port ranks above the ports of Houston, New York/New Jersey, New Orleans, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Long Beach, Greater Baton Rouge, Los Angeles, and Mobile for sheer weight of cargo handling. It is the only port in the U.S. that  ranks in the top 20 worldwide by the same measure; it is also the nation's largest port for grain exports and its biggest port by import values, handling about $70 billion per year of inbound cargo.

Its tonnage is driven by dry and wet bulk volumes. Last year, the port handled almost 280 million tonnes of cargo (308 short tons), up four percent over the previous year's numbers. The boost was led in part by a steep 80 percent increase in coal exports, the expansion of petroleum exports and a 100 percent jump in steel imports. The district’s total tonnage increase was also propelled by increased handling of chemicals/fertilizers, ores/phosphate rock and petrochemicals.

 “I was very pleased to see the Port of South Louisiana increase its tonnage, vessel and barge numbers by such an impressive amount,” said Paul Aucoin, Executive Director of the Port of South Louisiana. “We look forward to another good year.”

The port is set to grow with the construction of the new Pin Oak Terminals petroleum facility, an offloading, storage, blending and transfer terminal with an initial tank capacity for 400,000 barrels of refined product. That amount could grow to up to 10 million barrels in future years, and the partnership behind the facility already has customers for four million barrels. It is equipped with docks, access roads, pipeline connections and rail lines to handle all modes of petroleum transport.