The Port of New Orleans surpassed the half-million mark for twenty-foot-equivalent units handled in a 12-month period for the first time. Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange said that the most recent 12-month container data found the Port handled 537,285 TEUs, a 14% increase over the same period one-year ago. Those figures reflect a more than doubling of container volume in the Central American trade lane through September, buoyed by banana imports (Chiquita) and paper and chemical exports. In addition, the latest breakbulk cargo data through May 2015 illustrates a more than 15% growth in breakbulk tons, led by an 19% increase in imported steel.
Taken along with the Port of South Louisiana, the combined ports of southeast Louisiana form one of the largest port systems in the world by bulk tonnage and among the top ten in the world by annual volume handled.