Facts at a Glance

Port Area

The 54-mile jurisdiction of the Port of South Louisiana extends along the Mississippi River through three southeastern Louisiana parishes: St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. James. The Port area begins at river mile 114.9 AHP, near the New Orleans International Airport, and continues north to river mile 168.5 AHP, just north of the Sunshine Bridge.


Seven grain elevators, multiple mid-stream operations, more than 40 liquid and dry bulk terminals, and Globalplex Intermodal Terminal comprise the public and private marine facilities within the sprawling Port of South Louisiana district.

Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) 124

The Port of South Louisiana operates one of the most active Foreign Trade Zone in America. In 2016, FTZ 124 received over $39 billion in merchandise and facilitated the employment of 6,200.

Barges and Vessels

On average, there are more than 65,490 barge movements annually and 4,589 deep-draft vessel calls within the Port’s jurisdiction annually.


The Port is serviced by three trunk-line railroads, including Canadian National and Kansas City Southern on the east bank of the Mississippi River, and the Union Pacific rail system on the west bank of the river.


The Port is situated centrally within Louisiana’s vast state and interstate systems. Major arteries include Interstates 10, 310, and 55, U.S. Highways 61 and 90, and Louisiana Highways 51, 44, 18, 3127, and 3125.


Passengers and air cargo bound for the Port of South Louisiana can be accommodated at New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport at the southern edge of the Port district. Small private or corporate aircraft can be accommodated at Port of South Louisiana’s Executive Regional Airport, located in the heart of the district, just two miles away from the Port’s public deep-draft intermodal terminal at Reserve, Louisiana.


As of 2016*, the Port of South Louisiana is the largest port in the United States in total throughput tonnage. The Port also ranked first in imports and total domestic trade. It ranked second in both exports and total foreign trade. In addition, according to a new report by international shipping magazine Fairplay, the Port of South Louisiana was ranked 16th in the world.
*Source: USACE Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center; Port of South Louisiana Data

Foreign Cargo

The private and public terminals within the Port handled more than 147 million short tons of foreign cargo in 2017. Of this cargo, imports accounted for more than 76 million short tons, while more than 71 million short tons of cargo were exported.


As the largest grain port in the United States, grain elevators within the Port handle over 50% of all U.S. grain exports annually. These exports included 20 million short tons of Maize, 21.5 million short tons of Soybean, 3.3 million short tons of Animal feed, almost 1.2 million short tons of Wheat, and over 653 thousand short tons of other grain such as Milo (Sorghum) and Rice.

Petroleum Imports

Crude Oil, Petroleum Products, and other mineral fuels account for over 87% of imports, which makes the Port of South Louisiana one of the top energy transfer ports* in the United States. The annual total for 2017 for Crude Oil alone was 56.6 million short tons, making it the top imported commodity.
* based on the criteria outlined in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014

Trading Partners

The Port of South Louisiana ships and receives cargo from more than 90 nations throughout the world. Jamaica, Brazil, and Russia are in the top five import countries, along with Peru and China. For exports, China, Morocco, Mexico, Japan, and the Netherlands are the top five commodity destinations.
Source: PIERS 2017

International Partners

With a wealth of economic development resources within the jurisdiction, unparalleled intermodal transportation, and access to both the U.S. and Latin American markets, the Port of South Louisiana has established relation- ships with ports in Mexico, Central and South America for the development of mutual trade and investment in the future. As American transportation and maritime companies form joint-venture partnerships with Latin America for the privatization of transportation systems, ports will become increasingly more important to the trade equation. The Port of South Louisiana is committed to fostering reciprocal trade and investment between its foreign partners.

Under Development

In St. Charles Parish, we continue the process of developing a public port/industrial park on the west bank of the Mississippi River in addition to a general cargo dock installation.

We continue to explore partnerships to establish a container terminal within the Port district.

In June 2017, the Port acquired property on the west bank of the Mississippi River in St. James Parish. We look forward to developing the site and creating more jobs for the community.

2017 Statistics (in Short Tons)

The Port of South Louisiana consistently ranks above the ports of Houston, Mobile, Miami, New York/New Jersey, Los Angeles, Charleston, and Seattle.
Exports: “71,720,403”
Imports: “76,035,076”
Domestic Transshipments: “160,101,925”
Total Tonnage: “307,857,404”