The best part of our job is working with our clients and learning more about their business. The more we learn about a client's business the more we can contribute to their marketing strategy and help them achieve their goals. We are also always listening to the needs of our local business community for ways that we can innovate and help them with their business needs.
A couple of years ago, a conversation with a group of local business leaders led us to create a new initiative called We Choose Louisiana to help promote the exciting and positive momentum created by company's who are committed to our region's economy.
The Port of New Orleans was one of the first participants in our We Choose Louisiana initiative. This year, they expanded their marketing efforts to showcase the impact of the Port of New Orleans on our economy during National Maritime Month.
You can view their We Choose Louisiana Spot here:
You can see their National Maritime Month Campaign here:
Through the course of working the Port staff on those campaigns, we learned so many interesting facts about what is happening behind the flood wall, what is floating on the river, and how all of that impacts our local and national economy.
As part of their outreach to the community, the Port of New Orleans has recently started offering public tours on a monthly basis. We were lucky enough to score seats on a tour during National Maritime month in May aboard the General Kelley Fireboat.
We were able to see firsthand the vibrant economic activity along the Mississippi River and understand better how it impacts our community and interacts with the world.
Since Bienville founded New Orleans in 1718, the trade-friendly location on the river has been central to our economy. In 1896, The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans was created by the Louisiana legislature to administer public wharves and regulate trade and traffic.
The Port now contributes to 165,000 jobs statewide. One of the facts we learned on the tour was that the skilled workforce behind the flood walls contributes to the overall success. The highly trained workforce represents generations of institutional knowledge on the inner workings of the cargo industry. Those skill of those workers contributes to quicker offloading and loading of cargo which makes our port more attractive to the shipping industry.
We learned about the Port's capacity for both breakbulk and container cargo as well as cruise passengers. We also learned about Smucker Coffee Silo Operations Inc. (formerly Silocaf), the worlds largest coffee processing facility, that towers six-stories above the flood wall near Tchoupitoulas and Jefferson. Some other interesting facts about the Port of New Orleans include:
- #1 Importer of Natural Rubber
- #1 U.S. London Metals Exchange Port (Cooper, Zinc, Aluminum)
- #1 U.S. Exporter of Frozen Poultry
- #2 U.S. Importer of Coffee
- #3 U.S. Importer of Steel
- #5 U.S. Importer of Plywood
- #6 U.S Cruise Port
If you have also wondered what is happening behind those levees and walls and are interested in participating in the montly Tour Your Port! interactive tours. Follow the Port of New Orleans on Facebook to learn about when they are happening and how to sign up. We have a few pro tips to pass along:
- The tours are limited to 20 people each so sign up quickly when they are announced.
- The boat does have indoor climate controlled seating and viewing so don't worry too much about the weather
- Wear comfortable non-slip shoes (high-heels are not allowed) - you will have probably get to spend some time on the deck of the boat while it is cruising and you want to be safe and comfortable.