NSCSA returns regular service To Port

Container cargo levels at the Port of New Orleans topped 80% of pre-storm levels recently, as the Port’s recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita moves forward.

According to Port figures, Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal daily gate moves topped 800 twice recently, nearing the pre-storm average of 920 per day or 87% of pre-Katrina levels. Daily gate moves are averaging about 750 per day currently and improving steadily. Gate moves count the number of containers coming into and out of the Port on a daily basis. Stevedores also report nearly 1,000 import containers are scheduled to be shipped.

‘These are remarkable figures,’ said Gary LaGrange, the Port’s President and CEO. ‘Pundits told us after the storm that we wouldn’t work a ship here for six months. Well, here we are not even five months out and our recovery process is on pace with our own demanding schedule. These accomplishments truly reflect an outstanding effort from the entire Port community.’

In addition, all terminal operators throughout the Port are reporting strong break-bulk cargo volumes and each is predicting a robust first quarter of 2006. Break-bulk cargo is non-containerized cargo, including steel, aluminum and rubber. Figures show Port activity is approximately 65% of pre-Katrina levels.

In other news, ship calls continue to remain high as 23 vessels, including 10 container vessels, were scheduled to call on the Port the week of Jan. 23. P&O Ports was scheduled to work more than a dozen vessels, while Ceres Gulf, CSA Vessels, Coastal Cargo Company, Empire Stevedoring and Pacorini will all work multiple ships.

One vessel of note is National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia’s 816-foot Saudi Tabuk. The vessel docked at the Nashville Avenue B Wharf January 24. It marked the return of NSCSA to regular every-two-week-service to the Port of New Orleans.