The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) and the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB) announced intermodal rail volumes are up more than 15% YTD, when comparing January through May. Through its growing intermodal service and efficient global and inland connections, Port NOLA ensures that goods arrive at homes across the nation, that businesses can efficiently move their products, and that economic prosperity and job creation for the state and region continues. Rail represents approximately 33% of Port NOLA and NOPB’s consolidated annual revenue.

“Port NOLA is building momentum as the Gulf’s Gateway to middle America,” said Port NOLA Acting President & CEO and Acting NOPB CEO, Ronald Wendel, Jr. “Our ability to provide innovative supply chain solutions for shippers looking to diversify their trade lanes is undeniable. We are on track to grow this service even more while simultaneously continuing to provide efficient and reliable options for moving freight by river, rail, and road.”

Port NOLA’s Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal located within the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal complex offers on-dock access to the Port’s six Class I rail partners via the NOPB, a class-III Short-line Railroad. Port NOLA’s strategic alignment with the NOPB in 2018 created fluidity and mitigated congestion across the entire gateway, keeping dwell times well below industry benchmarks.

“Port NOLA is the only deep-water port in the United States that is connected to all of North America’s six Class I railroads through the NOPB,” said NOPB General Manager Tomeka Bryant. “This unparalleled connection is a tremendous asset for customers as these railroads comprise a 132,000-plus mile network of track that tie the Port of New Orleans and the global supply chain directly to every U.S. market and Canada.”

One of the six Class I railroads, CN, offers regular intermodal service to and from Memphis, Chicago, Detroit as well as Toronto and Montreal.

“CN has been a committed rail service provider in the Port of New Orleans market for decades and we are excited about the growth plans in New Orleans. CN and Port NOLA have a lot of value to offer customers looking for strong gateway alternatives into key markets like Memphis, Detroit, Chicago and even Toronto and Montreal,” said Dan Bresolin, Vice President of Intermodal for CN.  

The CPKC offers intermodal service to and from the Dallas/Fort Worth market which is utilized by retail importers as an alternate cost-competitive and fluid gateway option as well as a way for ocean carriers to reposition empty equipment into the NOLA region for its robust export demand.

“Port NOLA's strategic infrastructure investments have bolstered its capacity to handle increased cargo volumes efficiently, facilitating seamless connections between transportation modes,” said Julia Fisher-Cormier, Commissioner of the Louisiana Office of Multimodal Commerce. “This growth in intermodal services is essential for supporting Louisiana's position as the premier gateway in the Gulf, benefiting not only our economy, but also contributing to broader economic health of the U.S.”

Last month, the Port of New Orleans also announced record container growth. Port NOLA moved a total of 133,845 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) during the third quarter of fiscal year 2024 representing a 19% increase year over year and a record quarter with container volume not seen since the supply chain issues of 2021.