Chiquita Brands announced Wednesday it will relocate its shipping operations from the Port of Gulfport in Mississippi to the Port of New Orleans, according to Governor Bobby Jindal.
Gov. Jindal joined Chiquita Brands Senior Vice President Mario Pacheco for the announcement at the Port of New Orleans.
Chiquita plans to ship 60,000 to 78,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units per year at the Port of New Orleans, representing a roughly 15 percent increase in current container volumes.
Chiquita's shipping operations will return to New Orleans after a nearly 40-year hiatus. The company, known as United Brands in the 1970s, relocated its shipping operations from the Port of New Orleans to the Port of Gulfport in the mid-1970s after more than seven decades of calling at the Port of New Orleans.
The move will result in approximately 270 to 350 new permanent jobs in New Orleans as well as an increase in economic output of $373 million to $485 million over the next 10 years.
"This is a huge, historic win for the Port of New Orleans and for trade in our state. We are excited to welcome back Chiquita after a nearly 40-year hiatus. Since day one, we have made economic development our top priority, and a big part of that has been investing in our ports to cultivate job-creating projects in Louisiana," said Jindal.
Chiquita plans to ship 30,000 to 39,000 containers of bananas and other fresh fruit into the Port of New Orleans.