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The Port of New Orleans

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Southeastern Louisiana is home to one of the largest and perhaps most recognizable ports in the United States. The Port of New Orleans sits on the end of the Mississippi just 100 miles from where the river meets the Gulf of Mexico, making it a massively valuable and high volume port. The city itself thrives on both its maritime history and current industry and even includes a famous riverwalk where visitors can watch barges and freighters float by. As early as the 1790’s, the port has been a key player in America’s maritime commerce and continues to see exponential growth and expansion centuries later.

Mississippi is home to many ports and harbors. The Port of New Orleans especially can be a hazardous environment for workers and travelers due to the high volume location and heavy machinery that is interacted with on a daily basis. If you have been hurt while at the Port of New Orleans, don’t hesitate to talk to our Mississippi Jones Act attorneys who can walk you through your options in dealing with the aftermath of an accident.

​Our maritime lawyers are highly-experienced and committed to securing results on our clients' behalf. We have secured billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements, negotiating settlements and fighting for fair verdicts in state and federal courts across the nation. In addition to representing workers at the Port of New Orleans, we can handle cases throughout Louisiana and nationwide. If you would like to talk about a deck accident, injuries sustained on an offshore oil platform, or a wrongful death, we can help.

Call (888) 346-5024 and our maritime injury lawyers will be happy to see how we can assist you.

About New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana is a major port city, straddling the Mississippi River in southeastern Louisiana. The port at New Orleans handles both exports from the interior of the nation and imported goods from other countries.

New Orleans was established by the French as a strategically-located trading port, and the city has been a center for international trade since 1718. Warehouses were established, and goods were subsequently transferred to smaller vessels and distributed along the length of the vast Mississippi River. The City of New Orleans remains a crucial transportation hub for waterborne commerce.

The Port of New Orleans is the port of choice for many commercial shipping industries due to New Orleans' strategic location and proximity to the American Midwest. There is a vast inland waterway system, six Class One railroads, and the interstate highway system available for the movement of cargoes. The Board of Commissioners governs the Port of New Orleans. The board's mission is to maximize both the creation of jobs for Louisiana citizens and state and local revenue with maritime and cruise development.

The Port's facilities accommodate an average of 2,000 vessel calls each year. The Port of New Orleans is a busy port for barges as they transit the nation's two main inland waterways—the Mississippi River and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway—which intersect at New Orleans. The port of New Orleans handles about 50,000 barges yearly.

Port of New Orleans History

The New Orleans territory was passed around from nation to nation in the early 1700’s because of competing interests from major empires France and Spain. Jean Baptist Le Moyne founded the city of New Orleans along the Mississippi in 1718 and it eventually became the capitol of the French colony of Louisiana. In 1762, France gave Louisiana to Spain and within a few years Spain refused any American vessels passage into the New Orleans port.

The Louisiana Purchase

Americans reacted adversely to Spain’s closure of the port and claimed that they desperately required the use of the Mississippi River and the Port of New Orleans specifically. In response, President Thomas Jefferson approved the purchase of the colony of Louisiana from France (who had secretly been given the land back from Spain) for $15 million. This purchase drastically expanded America’s territory and would shape the future of the region.

20th Century Changes

By the 20th century, industrialization had modernized the area and set the framework for the port today. Eighteen new wharves were built, gantry cranes were eventually added, and major terminals were completed.

The Port Of New Orleans Today

Today, the Port of New Orleans handles about 50,000 barges yearly, moving approximately 31,050,437 tons of cargo in 2014. The cargo coming through the port is diverse, including items such as apparel, food products, and consumer merchandise. Other top commodities include steel, rubber, chemicals, wood, and coffee.

In recent years, the passenger cruise industry has significantly risen in the Port of New Orleans. Big name cruise companies like Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines all pass through the port daily. In 2014, approximately 1,014,325 cruise passengers sailed through the port.

The culture and commerce surrounding the port is strong. Even catastrophic setbacks, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, have not devastated the area beyond repair. 10 years after the hurricane, the Port of New Orleans is still setting records.

Home to Many Shipbuilding Companies

Many shipbuilding, shipping, logistics, and other related maritime firms are located in New Orleans.

Major firms include:

  • Intermarine
  • Bisso Towboat
  • Northrop Grumman Ship Systems
  • Trinity Yachts
  • Expeditors International
  • Bollinger Shipyards

Intermarine is a worldwide provider of ocean transport for breakbulk, specialized project cargo, and heavy lift cargoes. Northrop Grumman designs, builds, overhauls, and repairs a wide variety of ships for the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, and national navies across the globe.

Additionally, Northrop Grumman's 4,800 employees build surface combatant ships, and amphibious assault ships, and transport ships in New Orleans. Trinity Yachts builds some of the world's elite custom super-yachts.

Meanwhile, Expeditors International handles:

  • Customs brokerage
  • Air cargo
  • Ocean cargo
  • Domestic services
  • Risk management
  • Distribution
  • Security
  • Import and export compliance

Bollinger Shipyards serves the military and commercial marine industry, specializing in dry-docks and services for both shallow and deep-water vessels and rigs.

Growing Passenger Traffic

The Port of New Orleans has seen a significant rise in the amount of traffic in the passenger cruise industry. More than 700,000 passengers sail through the Port of New Orleans each year. Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines set sail weekly to international waters while the Delta Queen Steamboat Company and RiverBarge Excursions feature local inland river cruises.

Security at the Port of New Orleans

The Harbor Police Department keeps the port secure throughout the jurisdiction of the Port of New Orleans. The Harbor Police have jurisdiction to enforce laws on the waterways of the Inner-Harbor Navigational Canal from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain, and the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet from the Inner-Harbor Navigational Canal to the Michoud Canal and Bayou Bienvenue. The Michoud Assembly Facility for the external tank of the Space Shuttle is an 832-acre site owned by NASA located in New Orleans East. The facility features a port with deep-water access for the transportation of the shuttle's external tank.

Working with an Attorney

Injured while working at the Port of New Orleans? Were you the victim of an accident on a vessel that was traveling to or from this port of call? Now is the time to schedule a free consultation with an offshore injury lawyer at Arnold & Itkin LLP. We can provide you with the information you need to make the right choices about filing a claim under the Jones Act, Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, or other maritime law. You may be entitled to financial compensation, but without experienced help, your ability to recover a fair settlement is limited.

Burns, amputation, and spine injuries are a few of the most common injuries experienced by offshore workers, seamen, and maritime workers at the Port of New Orleans. These injuries may not only require extensive medical care and lead to considerable medical bills, but they may impact a worker's lifelong earning capacity, costing families long-term provision and support. Our offshore injury attorneys recognize this and therefore fight for maximum compensation in every case we handle, from a Jones Act claim for head trauma sustained due to a vessel owner's negligence to a Death on the High Seas Act claim involving fatal offshore injuries.

Do not let yourself attempt recovery without the resources you rightfully deserve. Reach out to Arnold & Itkin for a confidential and free case consultation so we can determine your next step.

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