The Port of South Louisiana is a major gateway for import and export traffic for the United States. The Port of South Louisiana is governed by a seven-member Board of commissioners. With locations stretching for some 87 kilometers (54 miles) on the Mississippi River, the Port of South Louisiana is the biggest tonnage port in the United States. Facilities are located in St. John the Baptist, St. Charles, and St. James parishes.
In 2010, the Port of South Louisiana handled more than 246 million tons of cargo, including 48 million short tons of exports. Each year, more than four thousand ocean-going vessels and 55 thousand barges call at the Port of South Louisiana.
The Port of South Louisiana contains five outstanding port-owned facilities that handle cargoes ranging from general cargo to grain. The Port of South Louisiana is the landlord for the facilities that are leased to companies like Archer Daniels Midland and Occidental Chemical. The Port of South Louisiana's Globalplex Intermodal Terminal is currently being converted into a world-class facility to handle dry bulk and breakbulk cargoes.
The Port of South Louisiana is tasked with serving the maritime transportation needs of resident industries and to help resident industry develop its own maritime and industrial facilities. The Port of South Louisiana promotes domestic and foreign investment within the three parishes and in Louisiana. The Port of South Louisiana also works to attract both foreign and domestic cargoes to the Globalplex Intermodal Terminal.
An emergency response division for the Port of South Louisiana operates 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to provide safety and firefighting equipment in the port's properties. The newest fleet vessel, the PSL Responder, was cited as one of the "10 Significant Boats of 2007" by WorkBoat magazine.
The Port of South Louisiana works with the deep-water ports in New Orleans, Greater Baton Rouge, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard to maintain a security network along the lower 255 miles of the Mississippi River. With almost half of all US exports and 25% of US petroleum imports moving through the Port of South Louisiana, the ports' security goal is to protect existing and future facilities and make the river corridor one of the safest in the world.
The Port of South Louisiana is the biggest port for bulk cargo in the world, and it is the biggest shipping port in the Western Hemisphere based on cargo volume. The Port of South Louisiana handles about 60% of raw grain exports leaving the Midwest United States. Navigational depths within the Port of South Louisiana range from 3.6 meters (12 feet) to 14.6 meters (48 feet).
The major inbound cargoes that travel through the Port of South Louisiana include crude oil, fertilizers, chemicals, petrochemicals, concrete and stone products, steel products, ores and phosphate rock, coal, wood and wood chips, lignite, coke, and edible oils. The Port of South Louisiana's major outbound cargoes include animal feed, soybeans, wheat, maize, coal, milo, lignite, petrochemicals, lignite, rice, fertilizers, chemicals, crude oil, and edible oils.
The Port of South Louisiana offers 174 kilometers (108 miles) of deep-water frontage on both banks of the Mississippi River. Within that space are over 50 piers and docks. Vessels with a draft of 14 meters (45 feet) can call at the Port of South Louisiana anytime in the year. Weather conditions and river depth seldom impede river transport.
The Port of South Louisiana is linked to major markets in the United States through three major Interstate Highways. Interstate Highway 10 crosses the United States from east to west. Interstate 55 extends from Chicago, Detroit, and St. Paul to South Louisiana. Interstate Highway 59 begins near the northern boundary of the Port of South Louisiana and carries traffic to the eastern United States. There are 20 metropolitan market areas within a thousand kilometers (600 miles) of the Port of South Louisiana.
Three trunk line railroads serve the Port of South Louisiana. Two of these are on the east bank of the Mississippi, and one is on the west bank. The Union Pacific Railroad on the west bank serves western markets in the United States. On the east banks of the Mississippi, Canadian National and Kansas City Southern serve the mid-continent United States, Canada, and Mexico.
The Port of South Louisiana is served by xix oil and gas pipelines. The Port of South Louisiana is the terminus for the United States' only offshore superport which is just 24 kilometers (15 miles) off the coast of Louisiana. This superport produces more than 500 thousand barrels of crude oil a day. The Port of South Louisiana is also the originating point for the 1030-kilometer (640-mile) pipeline that carries about 800 barrels of oil each day from Louisiana to the middle United States.
The Port of South Louisiana is just minutes from the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport that offers regular service for passengers and air-borne cargoes traveling throughout the US, Mexico, Central America, South America, Canada, and Europe. The St. John the Baptist Parish airport serves private businesses and air freight and storage companies.
Many Port of South Louisiana are located outside LaPlace. Port Terminal #1, the Reserve Grain Elevator, operated by ADM/GROWMARK, has one berth with alongside depth of 15.2 meters (50 feet) and is served by Canadian National Railway.
ADM operates a facility in St. Elmo with one 300-meter (984-foot) berth with alongside depth of 13.7 meters (45 feet) with rail service through Canadian National. ADM/GROWMARK operates Terminal #3 in Destrehan. At this location, there is one 244-meter (800-foot) berth with alongside depth of 12.2 meters (40 feet) and service by Canadian National.
In Gramercy, Louisiana, Kinder Morgan Marine operates one 259-meter (850-foot) barge dock with alongside depth of 4.6 meters (15 feet) that is served by Canadian National. ADM/GROWMARK and AMA operate one 178-meter (585-foot) dock with alongside depth of 15.2 meter (50 feet) at St. Rose. The Southern Pacific and Union Pacific railroads provide service to this facility.
Mosaic Chemical Company operates one ship dock and one barge dock at River Mile 160.3. The ship dock has berthing space of 190.5 meters (625 feet), and the two barge docks have berthing space of 91.4 meters (300 feet) each. All docks have alongside depth of 12.2 meters (40 feet). They are served by Canadian National. Mosaic Chemical also operates a facility with one ship and one barge dock. Combined berthing space is 268.2 meters (880 feet) with alongside depth of 12.2 meters (40 feet).
Port Terminal Number 8 in the Port of South Louisiana is the Globalplex Intermodal Terminal. Located in the center of the Port of South Louisiana, the terminal is a 135-hectare (335-acre) marine industrial park and a public terminal. The Port of South Louisiana owns the facility, and Associated Terminals and Kinder-Morgan operate the terminal to ship and receive cargoes on barges and vessels carrying containers, heavy-lift, bulk, and breakbulk cargoes. Stevedore Services of America (SSA) works with these two operators.
Both of the Globalplex Intermodal Terminal docks in the Port of South Louisiana can accommodate Panamax vessels. The 12.6 thousand square meter (135.3 thousand square foot) general cargo dock at the Port of South Louisiana's Global Intermodal Terminal is 235 meters (770 feet) from dolphin to dolphin and offers 268 meters (880 feet) of berthing space. This Port of South Louisiana facility also has a 2.3 thousand square meter (25 thousand square foot) bulk handling dock. The Globalplex Intermodal Terminal in the Port of South Louisiana has alongside depth of 18.3 meters (60 feet).
The Port of South Louisiana's Global Intermodal Terminal is served by a total of 3.6 thousand meters (12 thousand feet) of surface- and platform-level rail tracks and a car-marshaling yard. Rail services for the Global Intermodal Terminal is provided by the Canadian National Railway and the Kansas City Southern railroad.
The Port of South Louisiana's Global Intermodal Terminal is equipped with two 2250 Manitowoc Cranes with lift capacity for 150 tons, a shiploader that can move 1200 tons per hour, a bulk commodities conveyor system that moves 2500 tons per hour, and a Carlsen ship unloader that moves 800 tons per hour. Additional cranes, loaders, dozers, and miscellaneous equipment is available at the Globalplex terminal in the Port of South Louisiana.
The Global Intermodal Terminal in the Port of South Louisiana has many options for cargo storage. The terminal offers a total of 6.9 acres of covered storage facilities.
Building #3 is a 6.7 thousand square meter (72 thousand square foot) transit shed and warehouse for receiving breakbulk and palletized shipments. The Port of South Louisiana's Building #3 has a covered rail loading dock. Building #4 in the Port of South Louisiana is a 3.7 thousand square meter (40 thousand square foot) transit shed for dry bulk commodities. Building #4 is located at the foot of the general cargo dock.
Open storage at the Port of South Louisiana's Globalplex Intermodal Terminal includes 200 acres for open storage, warehousing, or manufacturing development and 9 acres of paved open storage. The Port of South Louisiana's Globalplex Intermodal Terminal also has two storage domes for cement, each with capacity for 50 thousand tons.
On the grounds of the Global Intermodal Terminal in the Port of South Louisiana is beautiful home with grounds that used to be part of the Godchaux-Henderson sugar refinery in Reserve, Louisiana. Built in the antebellum style in the early 20th Century, the "Guesthouse" was purchased by the Port of South Louisiana in 1992 with the property for the Global Intermodal Terminal. The Port of South Louisiana renovated the home and uses it today for special events and business meetings.