Rep. Graves Announces Federal Funding for Baton Rouge, New Orleans Ports
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Garret Graves (South Louisiana) announced today that the Ports of Baton Rouge and New Orleans will receive a $3.1 million federal America’s Marine Highway projects grant to support a program to put shipping containers on barges rather than our congested roadways. The ports’ Container on Barge Service between the Louisiana ports will be awarded the largest of such grants announced today by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“The Mississippi River is America’s global commerce super highway, and our state’s capabilities to move product up and down the lower river is a critical link in the nation’s export/import logistics chain,” said Graves. “Louisiana’s ports have historically handled bulk cargo like grains, coffee, steel, rubber and fuels. We are seeing surges in shipping containers at other ports around the United States, but not Louisiana. This service helps to put Louisiana’s ports in the game. We have five of the top 15 ports in the country and handle up to 25 percent of all the waterborne commerce in the United States. We need to stay in front of shipping trends. This funding allows us to do that by shipping containers on our river system to other ports. The other benefit is that this service keeps the new cargo on the river – helping to alleviate traffic congestion. This grant is a win-win-win for our ports, our industry and for Louisiana drivers.”
About the Grant: Sponsored by the Port of New Orleans, the grant funds will support the Ports of Baton Rouge and New Orleans Container on Barge Service, allowing them to purchase vessels that will increase the viability of the service. As Louisiana’s chemical industry continues to grow, the demand for more inland transportation has increased; the barges are essential to increasing the capacity of the shuttle, intermodal efficiency, and reducing costs. The existing container on barge service currently moves approximately 16,800 FEUs (forty-foot equivalent unit)-between Memphis/Baton Rouge and New Orleans.