View Full Version : The Port of New Orleans

09-03-2005, 09:40 AM
Much of it seems to be burning - warehouses, etc. Much of it must have been destroyed or submerged. And the port workers certainly won't be returning to work anytime soon.

What does this mean for the global economy? I recall that it is one of the major ports in the world, through which, among other things, most US grain exports flow. And harvest is coming up...

09-03-2005, 09:55 AM
It's a huge thing. Impact will be measured in years, but we'll work it out.

09-03-2005, 10:00 AM
Funny how things work. The city & port survived the storm. Died from the "resuce operation". :rolleyes: :eek: :confused:

The massive pork barrel Tenn-Tom waterway may finally prove useful.

Dazed & Confused. :D

Bob Cleek
09-03-2005, 12:51 PM
Nearly half of the US grain exports are shipped down the Mississippi and out of New Orleans. I hear grain barges are tied up all along the river upstream. There are a lot of countries in the world that depend on that grain for their bread! The problem isn't local, it's global. There is also the problem of the shipping in transit. Lots of vessels at sea are trying to find alternative ports with facilities to unload, refuel, etc. HUGE problem for the shipping industry. Then there is the problem of finding and marking all the new hazards to navigation in the area... like the twenty offshore oil rigs they can't find!

Roger Stouff
09-03-2005, 01:49 PM
From before the fires, but some good info here from my newspaper (I wrote it):

web page (http://www.banner-tribune.com/Saved/NewsText/lagrange.htm)

09-03-2005, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by George.:
Much of it seems to be burning - warehouses, etc. Much of it must have been destroyed or submerged. Source for this claim please?

Caltrade Report (http://www.caltradereport.com/eWebPages/front-page-1125603886.html)

New Orleans Port Damage Update

NEW ORLEANS - 09/01/05 - A skeleton crew of senior managers from the Port of New Orleans was able to escape from the carnage caused by Hurricane Katrina and set up an operations center at the nearby Port of West St. Mary in Franklin, Louisiana, according to Gary LaGrange, the ravaged port's president and CEO.

On Monday and Tuesday, he said in a report making its way through the industry press, several members of the port's staff were able to conduct an initial assessment by car and boat of conditions at the port's container and bulk facilities.

Some 75 ocean carriers call at the the Port of New Orleans, which serves as one of the busiest business centers in the country and a strategically-sited entrepot/distribution hub for a wide variety of products and commodities as diverse as grain, steel, petrochemicals, rubber, plywood, and coffee.

Largely a bulk cargo terminal, the port handled some 134,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) and averaged about 830 vessel calls per month last year, according to US Customs.

In addition, the port ranks fifth in the country in terms of cruise ship traffic.

"The outcome is not good, and it has been aggravated by unexpected flooding conditions following the storm," said LaGrange. "Yesterday, I thought the damage could have been worse, but today, I'm not so sure."

At this time, "we are not in a position to advise the dollar amount to effect repairs," he said, adding that "all cargoes in the transit sheds should be inspected at a later time to determine the exact damage and any damage to cargoes caused by water."

The port's Henry Clay Wharf sustained "heavy damage to its roller doors and skylights. The wharf is dry, with no flooding and the draft alongside ranged between 36 feet to 38 feet."

The shed at the Nashville A Wharf has "moderate damage" to its siding and roller doors, while its Fantuzzi mobile harbor crane appears to be in "operational condition, but will need to be inspected," said LaGrange. The draft alongside the wharf was better than 39 feet.

Nashville B Wharf has "moderate damage" to the siding on its wharf shed and roller doors, while several sections of the shed's roof are missing.

The $101 million Napoleon Container Terminal (NCT), which has a capacity of 366,000 TEUs, has "numerous" stacked containers "pancaked" in the yard.

"Our guess is around 100 units and that most were empties," said LaGrange. "One container had fallen from the stack onto the train adjacent to the facility. A small number of containers on the ground were in approximately 2 feet of water and any cargoes inside would be effected."

All 4 port gantry cranes at the NCT are "secured and intact," though the two newer cranes have lost the sides of their control cabs where the computer hardware is located.

In addition, one of the cranes had a container that had fallen from a stack of containers in the back reach of the crane toppled at its base.

"A Zim [Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd.] ship left the wharf during the storm and proceeded to anchor just off the wharf," said LaGrange.

Draft alongside the 61-acre NCT measured between 46 feet to 51 feet.

The Napoleon C Wharf and Milan Street Wharf have "heavy damage," with the Louisiana Street Wharf's shed in "good shape," but several sections missing from its new roof.

The shed at the adjacent Harmony Street Wharf lost several sections, while the 7th Street Wharf warehouse has several skylights missing from its roof and moderate to heavy damage to its roller doors.

The roof and roller doors at the 1st Street Wharf's shed were "heavily damaged" with the adjacent wharf at the Jackson Street Ferry Landing also experienced major damage. The draft measured between 38 feet to 44 feet alongside both facilities.

The Erato Street Wharf was heavily damaged by the shifting of the Bollinger Drydock which drifted from its mooring on the west bank of the Mississippi River.

The drydock moved up the river and slammed into the wharf, barely missing the Crescent City Connection Bridge. The drydock then lodged on the west bank across from the Robin Street Wharf.

The Julia Street Cruise Terminal has roof sections missing, while all windows at the terminal appeared to be intact. The new passenger "jet way" appeared intact as well, but will need to be inspected. The auxiliary "jet way" appeared intact with the canopy still attached.

The Governor Nicholas Street Wharf's transit shed sustained moderate damage to its side panels and roller doors and the facility's draft was sufficient, while the Esplande Street Wharf shed suffered heavy damage to its siding and the roof.

Both wharfs couldn't be sounded because of ships alongside.

A bulk carrier alongside the Pauline Street Wharf had its lines part. The ship drifted and then impacted with the Cooper Tug barge and lodging itself against the barge and at least one tug. A pair of tugs reportedly trying to refloat the ship, which is currently aground on the river's west bank.

The Poland Street Wharf appears intact "with moderate damage," while the Alabo Street Wharf's shed sustained "moderate damage" to the skylights and doors.

The France Road Wharf and Jourdan Street Wharf were not accessible because of heavy flooding in the area.

"We will advise the status in the near future," said LaGrange. "It should be noted that electricity has been lost and Jourdan Street Wharf, used to export frozen poultry, and is now without refrigeration."

In general, "the port's wharves appear to be, for the most part, intact and able to conduct cargo operations," he said.

"The transit sheds incurred damage, but could be used while we make repairs," said LaGrange.

The main issues facing the port's ability to handle cargo at the moment, he said, are "procuring labor to work the vessels; the distribution of cargoes due to highway connectors being damaged [the twin spans on the I-10 had sections lost and connectors in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes are under water] and initially used for recovery operations; and the ability of the river to receive vessels specifically at the southwest pass and the MRGO [Mississippi River Gulf Outlet]."

Presently river traffic "is limited to tugs, barges, off shore vessels relocating and recovery boats," he said.

"We must wait now for sounding to be performed by the pilot's organizations and the Army Corp of Engineers," LaGrange said.

"In addition, we need to analyze the Cruise Operation. Right now the Louis Armstrong Airport is underwater and hotels supporting the cruise industry need to repair their facilities. We still have autos for passengers parked which incurred heavy damage. We are investigating creating a satellite office within a distance of 50 miles," he said.

"Discussions have taken place with the AAPA [the Ameerican Assiociation of Port Authorities] and…the US Maritime Administration for assistance for logistical supply, operations, and medical assistance, said LaGrange, adding that "our next step will be to refine our inspections of our facilities and begin the process to repair them."

Plans are also underway to arrange meetings with the US Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Pilots Organizations to reopen the river, he said.

"River traffic, for now, is limited to tugs, barges, offshore vessels, and recovery boats," he said, and "follow up with state and federal financial help is beginning and will be addressed shortly as our staff is able to report back."

Recommendations from the US Maritime Administration "will be delivered to Secretary Minetta and brought up a cabinet meeting with the president tomorrow, LaGrange said.

The first priority "is to provide peace of mind to the citizens of New Orleans and our employees who have lost so. It won't be overnight, but eventually we will bounce back bigger and better than ever," he said.

"At this time, we're telling everyone who asks how they can help that the focus right now is on search and rescue/evacuation efforts, and the quickest way to help is to provide assistance directly to the relief agencies involved in the area."

Gary E
09-03-2005, 02:17 PM
Very good article Roger.

I also like the ....

Hope I dont get in trouble for posting it here but I've been in trouble before...

Editorial: Raise Levees Now!

As we watch the horrific events unfold in New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast two things come to mind – first, we need to do all we can to help those displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Secondly, after disaster needs are met, we need to focus on improving our levee system here.

Katrina’s storm surge in Mississippi is a wake up call to every community along the Gulf Coast. This area of St. Mary Parish, where 8-foot levees are far short of what is needed, is especially vulnerable.

And, no, Washington or Baton Rouge is not going to pick up the tab. We will have to create a western area St. Mary levee/road district and tax ourselves to do what needs to be done.

All other tax issues are moot if our area is susceptible to total destruction from storm surge. Why tax ourselves to build and maintain schools, city halls or any governmental entity if we don’t first ensure these facilities are protected? Why force mortgage holders to pay $500 or more per year for flood insurance when we could invest far, far less in raising the levees and not be required to have flood insurance at all? Why let commercial property owners sit on unsellable property for years when a token investment in levee improvement would make that property commercially viable?

Raising the area’s levees is a win-win for everybody and, even with the minimal necessary property taxes, a cost-savings to everyone.

We propose a levee/road district because levees and road maintenance are our two most critical needs. Once the levees are raised, money can be redirected to improving our road system. St. Mary’s venerable royalty road fund is only viable today due to the escalating price of oil. That fund will not be a reliable source of road funds in the future.

We urge our governmental leaders to work together to present us with a road/levee district plan and to do so now. We cannot afford to wait.

09-03-2005, 06:36 PM
They were just interviewing the boat pilots on TV, it seems the town where they spend their 24/7 shifts has been completely wiped out :(

The good news is that the river is still passabale.

captain's gig
09-03-2005, 06:50 PM
Canadian warships to sail to Louisiana
Last Updated Fri, 02 Sep 2005 18:20:41 EDT
CBC News

Three Canadian warships, a coast guard vessel and three Sea King helicopters will be sent to Louisiana on Tuesday with relief supplies for the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Sir William Alexander will sail along with the Canadian Navy vessels, HMCS Athabaskan, HMCS Ville De Quebec and HMCS Toronto.

Naval crews were busy loading gear on to the ships in Halifax Friday as 1,000 personnel prepared to head to waters off New Orleans.

Commodore Dean McFadden, who will command the deployment, said they were consulting with their American counterparts to determine what they will do during the expected month-long mission. He suggested duties would involve reconstruction, health care and humanitarian aid.

"We will have the capacity to move people. We'll have the capacity to bring medical supplies and fuel capabilities," McFadden said as he stood on the dock next to destroyer HMCS Athabaskan, the command and control ship for the mission. "The specific jobs we're going to do, I'll wait until the Americans tell us what help they need."

The vessels will work with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard and carry Canadian Forces personnel, some of them military engineers who might be able to help restore power and generate electricity.

About 40 navy divers from both coasts were also expected to deploy with the mission, which got clearance after American officials accepted a Canadian offer of help.

Rear Admiral Dan McNeil of the Joint Task Force Atlantic said organizers of the mission, dubbed Operation Union, were compiling a list of what's needed as U.S. officials continued to assess their requirements.

The ships are expected to arrive in the Gulf of Mexico three to four days after they leave Halifax.

09-03-2005, 08:50 PM
Been watching closely all day and I still have not seen any report(s) suggesting that the Port of N.0. has taken any fire damage.

What reports there are of fires seem confused - like one news source is reporting on a fire that another news source is saying has been put out. For example, the downtown mall fire was abandoned and then the firemen later returned and contained it, at the cost of 10 stores lost. Different news agencies are either saying it's still burning or it's out...

Mark Van
09-04-2005, 09:54 AM
I don't think that the Ten-Tom waterway will make much difference, When I went down the lower Mississippi in the fall, there was a tow at least once an hour going both directions, and they had between 30 to 40 barges each. The largest tow on the Tem Tom is 8 barges, and it takes them about 45 minutes for each of the 12 locks. I did hear that when the Mississippi is shut down, for either low water or floods, the commercial traffic on the tem-tom increases, but It would be impossible to ship that much stuff on the Ten-Tom. I'm guessing that the port will be at 90% capacity within two weeks.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
09-05-2005, 03:53 AM
The Port of New Orleans is unlikely to be much affected. A lot of cargo is worked "midstream" from barges into ships, rather than from quayside.

As a container port, NOLA is not really very important. As for the cruise lines here is a snippet from today's "Lloyd's List".

THE US Federal Emergency Management Agency has chartered four cruiseships to house evacuees whose lives were dislocated by Hurricane Katrina.

Carnival’s 1991-built, 70,367 dwt Ecstacy, 1985-built, 46,052 dwt Holiday and 1993-built, 70,367 dwt Sensation; and the 1972-built, 12,087 dwt Scotia Prince have been drafted in, said Trish Larson, spokeswoman for the US Military Sealift Command.

The four awards on behalf of FEMA are believed to be for $249m, for six months apiece.

The Ecstasy and Sensation, which have a capacity of 2,606 each, will be based in Galveston, Texas, while the 1,800-passenger Holiday, is likely be docked in Mobile, Alabama, Reuters quoted Carnival as saying.

James McIntyre, FEMA spokesman, would only confirm to Lloyd’s List on Sunday afternoon that “some of the ships” would be based in Galveston. Full deployment details were still being finalised, he said.

He said the cruiseships would entirely be used to provide temporary shelter for those affected by the storm.

FEMA had previously indicated that it was in the market for 25,000 cruiseship berths. Mr McIntyre said the agency would consider chartering more ships.

Carnival crew would staff the ships, which will be at the disposal of the Military Sealift Command.

People whose cruises on these ships are cancelled would receive a full refund and a discount on future trips, Carnival said. The company is expected to announce the financial ramifications of the charters this week.

[ 09-05-2005, 07:03 AM: Message edited by: Andrew Craig-Bennett ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
09-05-2005, 06:01 AM
Here's a good link to the actual situation of the ports concerned:

American Association of Port Authorities - Katrina Updates page (http://www.aapa-ports.org/pressroom/katrina_updates.htm)

09-08-2005, 06:54 AM
Alarm Growing on Storm's Cost for Agriculture (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/08/business/08farm.html)

CHICAGO, Sept. 7 - Two weeks from the beginning of harvest season, there is a mounting sense of alarm over a potential financial blow to American farming. Farmers in the breadbasket states rely on barges to carry their corn, soybeans and wheat down the Mississippi River, but cannot be certain that the Port of New Orleans, a crucial link to export markets that was badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina, will reopen anytime soon.
Farmers are clearing out stored corn and soybeans to prepare for this year's harvest, which they normally begin exporting at the end of September. But the hurricane caused substantial damage to waterways and grain-handling facilities, and hundreds of barges have been backing up on the Mississippi River with no place to go.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
09-08-2005, 07:07 AM
Yes, for commercial reasons I'm following this one. Could be interesting, but it will be rather hard to get reliable data, as the US grain houses know their business very well.

cedar savage
09-08-2005, 07:14 AM
George.: Do you have anything to do with preventing rain forest clear cutting for soybean fields?

Seems like there's a very clear link between loss of rain forest and the price of soybeans.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
09-08-2005, 07:16 AM
There's another reason for the price of soya beans: China has come from nowhere to become the world's biggest soybean importer in the past four years.

09-08-2005, 07:30 AM
Soybeans have destroyed most of the cerrado ecosystem, and are now starting to make inroads into the Amazon , as new varieties of seed are developed that are adapted to rainforest.

Fortunately, most Amazon soils are no good for soybeans, for several reasons - but I am afraid the ones that are will all be converted, parks and reserves excepted. Which is one reason why we focus on creating new parks in the southern Amazon, which is where the agricultural frontier is.

Other than that, the US is Brazil's main competitor in the grain export sector. Troubles for US exports may mean higher prices for Brazilian exporters - which may in turn mean the dollar devaluing further in relation to the real. Which means we may have to lower charter prices for Dalia if we want to remain competitive for US tourists, or give up on Americans and focus on Europeans as charter guests.

Everything is connected...

Alan D. Hyde
09-08-2005, 09:50 AM
Indeed it is, George.


And, the means are the ends in the making.

This says that things are interconnected in all dimensions--- not just from place-to-place, but also from time-to-time.

Thinking about these sorts of things reminds us how small we are in the great vastness of the universe...


[ 09-08-2005, 10:52 AM: Message edited by: Alan D. Hyde ]

09-08-2005, 10:37 AM
Fasten your seatbelts: it's going to be a wild and bumpy economy for awhile. Katrina isn't over yet.