OPPORTUNITY: Louisiana International Terminal

Due to strong expressed interest, the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) is seeking expressions of interest from respondents interested in the development and operation of the proposed Louisiana International Terminal.


Port NOLA’s container volumes have more than doubled in the past 10 years, including double-digit growth in 2018 and 2019. Recognizing the need for additional container capacity, Port NOLA is investing $100 million-plus to add four new 100-gauge gantry cranes and associated improvements to its current container facilities. However, an additional terminal is also needed to handle projected increased volumes and to support the evolving needs of the shipping and logistics industry. A new terminal would complement the Port’s existing Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal by accommodating ever-growing water draft requirements and by eliminating any air draft restrictions. The site for the new terminal is also 17 miles closer to open water than the existing container terminal.


Port NOLA has begun the permitting process for the Louisiana International Terminal (LIT), a $1.5 billion state-of-the-art multimodal container terminal with the capability to efficiently serve the largest container vessels on the water today. On December 29, 2020, Port NOLA acquired property in St. Bernard Parish and began the permitting process, which will include robust community engagement. The nearly 1,100-acre tract is located in Violet, Louisiana, at Mississippi River Mile Marker 83, and the phased project design and construction schedule will consider all facets of container terminal operations, traffic impacts, environmental issues and adjacent community needs.

Central to the development is the naturally deep-draft, riverfront acreage at Violet, which has historically been used for maritime operations, including ship repair, cargo handling and more. The property also has ample acreage to support ancillary cargo-related logistics and value-add businesses. The Violet location is within the Federal Government’s $14 billion flood protection system and includes existing multimodal infrastructure with direct access to six Class I railroads and the interstate highway system. The potential project will accommodate Port NOLA’s growing container-on-barge operations and incorporate green technologies.


Port NOLA is seeking to engage a qualified private partner to assist with designing, constructing, financing and maintaining the terminal development. The private partner will also be responsible for terminal operations. Port NOLA anticipates that the private partner will fund certain pre-development costs and the costs of construction, as well as provide continuing consideration in the form of lease payments and/or revenue sharing during the operating phase.Port NOLA is able and willing to facilitate low cost, tax-exempt financing to be secured by LIT operating revenues and/or the private partner.


Port NOLA has jurisdiction over 34.5 miles of waterfront along the Mississippi River and the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal (IHNC). Within that area, the current Port Complex facilities encompass a total of 22

miles of waterfront and include 52 berths, 23.3 million square feet of cargo handling area, five (5) gantry cranes with four (4) additional cranes on order, more than 3.1 million square feet of covered storage area and 1.7 million square feet of cruise terminal and parking facilities. The Port Complex is located approximately 112 miles from open sea via the Mississippi River and handles most types of cargo.

Functioning primarily as a landlord, Port NOLA leases or assigns docks, wharves, terminals and other facilities to shipping lines, terminal operating companies and other private firms involved in businesses related to international maritime commerce. Port NOLA derives income from fees assessed on shipping activity (wharfage, dockage, crane rental, etc.), and from leases, rentals and utility services.


Port NOLA is currently served by over 50 steamship lines, 45 barge lines and 75 truck lines. Ocean carriers connect Port NOLA to 65 direct global ports of call, and more than 450 ports via transshipment. Seacor’s container on barge service at Port NOLA has surpassed 28,000 TEUs and is growing more popular with environmentally-driven shippers. Truckers have dedicated access to the Board’s Mississippi River facilities via the Clarence Henry Truckway. During the past ten (10) years, the Board has invested approximately $340 million in new wharves, terminals, marshalling yards, cranes and other infrastructure.

The Port Complex is also the only deepwater port in the United States to be directly served by six Class I railroads (Burlington Northern/Santa Fe, Canadian National, CSX, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific), connected via the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, and is a state entity affiliated with Port NOLA. This unparalleled level of connectivity through Port NOLA affords its shippers of many cargoes (including grain, steel, rubber, coffee, forest products, non- ferrous metals, containers and manufactured goods) direct and economical access to major markets and production sites throughout the US, Canada and Mexico.


The Louisiana International Terminal development is being planned to service anticipated growth in container volumes through Port NOLA and to allow the industry’s largest container ships to call on Port NOLA. The targeted capacity is 2.0 million TEUs annually.


Additional information on the Louisiana International Terminal project may be found here - https://portnola.com/info/louisiana-international-terminal.

Parties interested in receiving more information and in submitting qualifications should contact:

PFM Financial Advisors, LLC

David Miller, Managing Director, 407-648-2208 / millerd@pfm.com or

Mary Francoeur, Managing Director, 646-561-0711 / francoeurm@pfm.com

Port NOLA welcomes industry feedback on the plan prior to the issuance of a Request for Qualifications, which is expected to be issued in the third quarter of 2021.

Get a downloadable PDF of this information here.