Higher container volumes sets port record

By: | at 08:00 PM | Ports & Terminals  

Surging container volumes at the Port of New Orleans so far in 2011 resulted in a record month for the cranes used to move the 20- and 40-foot boxes from ship to shore.

The Port’s container gantry cranes, rented by terminal operators to load and unload containers, were used 927.2 hours in March – a 25 percent increase over the same month one year ago. For the first three months of 2011, usage was up more than 350 hours or 18 percent compared to 2010, which was a record year for the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal. Crane usage is a strong calculator of total volume and a source of revenue for the Port.

Twenty-foot-equivalent-units, or TEUs, are the measure of volume within a container terminal. While the number of TEUs for March 2011 has not been calculated yet, TEU volumes totaled 81,987 for the first two months of the year, up 22.8 percent compared to one year ago. 2010 TEU volumes topped 427,518 – a record for the terminal.

“The Port of New Orleans is seeing upward trends in all of its container operations,” said Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange. “We are working together with all of our carriers and terminal operators to ensure long-term growth of container operations and those efforts have paid dividends.”

The Port set a record in September of 2010 with 43 container vessels arriving at Napoleon and broke that mark in January with 44. The Port has averaged more than 40 container vessels each month, or more than one per day, for the last six months.

In March, the Port welcomed 43 container ships – 19 Mediterranean Shipping Company vessels, 11 Hapag-Lloyd vessels, five Maersk vessels, seven Seaboard Marine vessels and one CSAV vessel.

According to vessel schedules, 44 container vessels are slated to work cargo at Napoleon this month.

Work is ongoing to expand the terminal’s 594,000-TEU current capacity. Construction is underway on the $7.1 million Napoleon Ave. Stage “C” expansion, which will add acreage to the marshalling yard and create efficiencies in container handling. Two new container gantry cranes are scheduled for delivery by mid-May and installation is expected to be complete by September. Seoul, South Korea-based Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd. recently completed the construction of the cranes. The new cranes have a 65-long-ton lift capacity, 110-foot lift height, and a 167-foot outreach, making the cranes the largest in the Port’s history. The overall cost of the project is $29.5 million.


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