The Port of South Louisiana is located between New Orleans, Louisiana and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, sprawling along 54 miles of the Lower Mississippi River. As the largest tonnage port in the Western Hemisphere, the Port of South Louisiana is not only the highest grain exporter in the United States (over 60 percent of the nation’s grain is exported via the Port of South Louisiana), it is also the second-highest ranked exporter in North America. With over 46 million short tons of crude oil imports per year, four major oil refineries, and 11 petrochemical manufacturing facilities, the Port of South Louisiana has been ranked the #2 energy transfer port in the nation. The Port also operates the most active Foreign Trade Zone (#124) in the country. With 15 zones, it received over $51.8 billion in merchandise and facilitated the employment of over 7,200 in 2018.
With superb rail, water, air and highway infrastructure, the Port of South Louisiana enjoys a unique geographical advantage for distribution, transportation and manufacturing, plus a comparative market access and a highly-skilled labor. It lies at the intersection of the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, featuring access to four interstate highways, four Class I railroads, the Louis Armstrong International Airport (KMSY), and Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport (KAPS).
Port of South Louisiana’s jurisdiction extends from Mississippi River mile 114.9 Ahead of Passes (AHP) near the Louis Armstrong International Airport, and continues north to mile 168.5 AHP, just north of the Sunshine Bridge. It envelops the parishes (counties) of St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. James, collectively named the River Region. Along both banks of the river, more than 50 piers and docks owned and operated by an impressive group of industry that includes ADM, Dow, Cargill, Valero, Bunge, Marathon, Shell, and Nucor Steel reside within the district. Its headquarters are currently located in LaPlace, Louisiana. Overall, the navigational depth of the Mississippi River is 45 feet (13.7 meters).
Its family-friendly neighborhoods, broad educational system, well-stocked libraries, dependable medical services, and diverse outdoor activities are some of the indicators of the River Region’s high quality of life. Laced by swamps, bayous and lakes, and bisected by the Mississippi River, the River Region is a natural setting for water sports of all kinds, from fishing and swimming to water skiing, sailing, and boating. Also, several festivals are held within the River Region throughout the year, which include the St. Charles Parish Catfish Festival held in June, the St. John the Baptist Parish Andouille Festival held in October, and the St. James Parish Festival of the Bonfires held on Christmas Eve.
The region continues to attract billions of dollars of investment (currently at $23.262 billion) by companies within, but not limited to, the petrochemical, fertilizer, and logistics industries. The Port contributes $1.8 billion in income, $14.4 billion in revenue, and $72.5 million in state and local taxes and handles over $83 billion in trade annually that supports over 30 thousand direct jobs (6 out of 10 jobs) in region.