International Trade

The Greater New Orleans region makes perfect sense. Our location alone is cause for trade, logistics and distribution companies to take a close look at the Greater New Orleans region. Additionally, our multimodal transportation infrastructure, a skilled workforce, aggressive federal and state incentives, and the availability of land with deepwater access make Louisiana competitive in a global marketplace. Take a closer look at the Greater New Orleans region.

Unparalleled Infrastructure

The Greater New Orleans region is home to the nation’s most integrated national waterway, railroad and highway infrastructure systems.

Major Port System

The Greater New Orleans region is part of the largest port system in the world as measured by tonnage. The region is one of the most highly connected to the national port, railroad and highway infrastructure, with a population base of 89 million people living in states located within a 600-mile radius of our port system. Located in Laplace, The Port of South Louisiana boasts the following:

  • Highest volume shipping port in the Western Hemisphere and the 9th highest volume in the world
  • Largest bulk cargo port in the world
  • Extends 54 miles between New Orleans and Baton Rouge
  • Ranks 3rd in the world in total trade by port
  • 60% of all raw grain exports from the Midwest breadbasket pass through the port
  • Accounts for 15% of all U.S. exports and 57% of Louisiana exports
  • Inland barge system is comprised of 19,262 miles and moves more than 233 million short tons cargo
  • Eight first-rate port-owned facilities are leased to operating companies such as: – Occidental Chemical – Archer Daniels Midland – Cargill Geographic Information System (GIS)

“New Orleans is strategically important to Tabasco® brand products. It is the port through which we import our key raw material, pepper mash from Central and South America. And, it is through which we export our bottled, finished products to Europe, Africa, and Central and South America. The supporting rail infrastructure throughout the region makes it cost effective and timely to produce the finished product in Louisiana and distribute it internationally from Avery Island. The Port of New Orleans has facilitated our global growth for many years and continues to meet tomorrow’s challenges with competitive and innovative solutions.” – Paul McIlhenny, President/CEO, McIlhenny Co.

Similarly, The Port of New Orleans boasts the following:

  • The only deep water port in the United States served by six class one railroads
  • Extensive port system with access to Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico
  • The largest wharf in the world at 2.1 miles, able to accommodate 15 vessels simultaneously
  • Invested more than $400 million in new, state-of-the-art facilities – Improved breakbulk and container terminals with new multi-purpose cranes – Expanded Marshalling yards – New Clarence Henry Truckway to handle heavy truck traffic
  • 22 million square feet for handling cargo
  • 6 million square feet of covered storage area
  • World’s busiest waterway with more than 6,000 ocean vessels that annually pass through port.
  • Commodities that move in and out of port: – Steel – Coffee – Forest Products – Rubber – Containerized cargo – Copper
  • 84 million short tons of cargo per year
  • 50 ocean carriers, 16 barge lines, and 75 truck lines serve the port
  • It is a Foreign Trade Zone where foreign merchandise may be brought into the country without immediately being subject to usual U.S. customs regulations
  • A leading port for movement of imported steel from Japan, Brazil, Russia, and Mexico
  • Number one port for imported natural rubber from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand
  • Napoleon Container Terminal has $100 million dollar state-of-the-art features: – Four dockside gantry cranes – Six rubber tire gantry cranes in Marshalling yard – Annual capacity: 366,000 teu

The Port of New Orleans Is Served By Over 50 Shipping Lines, including:

  • Maersk
  • Trans Sea Transport
  • China Ocean Shipping Company
  • Daiichi-Chuo Shipping Line
  • Eastwind Transport
  • Hyndai Merchant Marine Inbound
  • Mediterranean Shipping Company
  • Mitsui Osk Line
  • Pan Ocean Shipping Company
  • Yang Ming Line

Panama Canal Expansion

“The widening of the Panama Canal will boost international trade by leaps and bounds. Businesses in the Greater New Orleans region are perfectly positioned to take advantage of the opportunity.”

The expansion of the Panama Canal, scheduled for completion in 2014, will open Gulf of Mexico ports to substantial new sources of trade with Asia and the west coast of South America, including large markets in Chile and Peru. Increased investments will fully capitalize on increased international trade.

Air Cargo

Nearby Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport provides daily passenger and commercial service to major airports in the United States, Mexico, Europe, Canada, and Central & South America. St. John the Baptist Regional Airport has two runways and offers private, business, airfreight and on-site storage.

Key Incentives

Federal, state and local incentives available to the international trade, logistics and distribution industry in the Greater New Orleans region comprise one of the most aggressive, and potentially lucrative, financial packages in the nation.

  • Full tax credits on inventory tax in Louisiana.
  • Louisiana’s six Foreign Trade Zones make it possible to import materials and components into the U.S. without paying duties until they inter into the U.S. market.
  • The Louisiana Quality Jobs Program is a refundable tax credit that provides up to a 6% rebate of wages for qualifying jobs for a 10-year term. Additionally, the program rebates the 4% portion of state sales/use taxes on capital expenditures.
  • Louisiana FastStart is a turnkey workforce-training program that provides customized recruitment, screening, and training to new and expanding companies at no cost.
  • The Research & Development Tax Credit provides up to a 40% refundable tax credit for expenditures within the state relating to R&D activity.

“The Greater New Orleans region has historically been recognized as a key hub of the oil and gas industry in the United States. Southeast Louisiana is poised to retain this position due to the existing infrastructure, extensive base of industry workers and access to a vast amount of untapped oil and natural gas resources in the Gulf of Mexico.” – Clay Neff, General Operations Manager, Chevron North America Exploration and Production Company

Human Capital/ Training / Educational Resources

International trade, logistics and distribution businesses in the Greater New Orleans region have the advantage of a talented, experienced workforce.

  • Martin International Maritime Training in LaPlace, LA
  • Louisiana International Trade Center Library in New Orleans, LA
  • Tulane University
    • Maritime Law Center and Society
    • 2nd largest admiralty bar in the country
    • International and comparative law
    • Payson Center for International Development
    • A.B. Freeman School of Business
  • Center for International Studies  University of New Orleans
  • School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
  • Louisiana International Trade Center
  • Center for Economic Development
  • International Studies  Louisiana Technical College
  • Department of Marine Operations

Baton Rouge Area Chamber and GNO, Inc. Trade Study

In the first major joint effort between GNO, Inc. and Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC), a sweeping study of the international trade and logistics landscape was conducted. The results provide incredible insight about how Southeast Louisiana can best leverage its unique assets for the greatest economic benefit. Please click the link below if you would like to view the executive summary of the report, conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton. Trade Study Executive Summary


Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

New Orleans Public Belt Railroad

Port of New Orleans

World Trade Center of New Orleans

Corporate Presence

Agility Project Logistics

Associated Terminals

Blessey Marine Services Inc.

Boasso America Corporation

Bunge North America Inc.

CGB Enterprises

Coastal Cargo Company Inc.

Con-Way Freight Inc.

Delta Terminal Services

DynMcDermott Petroleum Operations Company

Eckstein Marine Service Inc.

Hornbeck Offshore Services LLC


International Matex Tank Terminals

Kearney Companies

Mediterranean Shipping Corporation

New Orleans Cold Storage

New Orleans Public Belt

Otto Candies LLC

Randa Corporation

Teco Bulk Terminal


Wal-Mart Distribution Center

Westway Holdings


Trade / Logistics / Distribution Industry Analysis

Maritime Advisory Task Force: Five-Year Ports and Maritime Plan