New Orleans, Baton Rouge container-on-barge initiative sets a record

(Courtesy Port of New Orleans) Port of New Orleans container ships

The Port of New Orleans, the Port of Greater Baton Rouge and Ingram Marine Group have set a new record in their collaborative container-on-barge program.

Port NOLA marked 20,500 container moves by barge during calendar year 2023, the highest since starting the service in 2016. The partnership represents the largest container-on-barge network in the U.S., with connectivity to the nation’s heartland.

Container-on-barge moves containers by water rather than by truck on roads to reduce air emissions. The partnership among the three entities repositions empty containers on a weekly basis to locations where they can be used. It also offers shippers alternative ways to move their goods.

According to an announcement late this morning, the initiative moves an average of 30,000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) per year between New Orleans, the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, Memphis and St. Louis.

Port NOLA President and CEO Brandy D. Christian says the organization is planning to expand the service in the coming years.

She credits the initiative with providing solutions for global supply chain disruptions and contributing to sustainability. According to the announcement, the service reduced more than 1.3 million kg of carbon dioxide emissions and saved more than 130,000 gallons of diesel fuel in calendar year 2023. Since 2016, the cumulative CO2 emissions reduction is more than 10.4. million kg.

Port of Greater Baton Rouge Executive Director Jay Hardman says the new record is the result of a “collective effort to create a stronger and more resilient supply chain.”