Port of N.O. says river traffic resumes, terminals working

Published: Aug. 31, 2012 at 11:17 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2012 at 11:17 PM CDT
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The 778-foot MSC Nederland container vessel passes the 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation -...
The 778-foot MSC Nederland container vessel passes the 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation - docked at the Port of New Orleans Erato Street Cruise Terminal Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. (Port of N.O. photo)

FOX 8 News received this news release from the Port of New Orleans Friday evening:

New Orleans—Traffic returned to the Mississippi River today and both break-bulk and container operations resumed at Port of New Orleans terminals.

In addition, the 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation arrived at the Erato Street Cruise Terminal about 2 p.m. and disembarkations and embarkations for the Cruise ship's revised three-day "Fun Cruise @ Sea" went smoothly. Mediterranean Shipping Company's 778-foot MSC Nederland was the first cargo vessel to leave Port today after she sought safe harbor at the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal during Hurricane Isaac.

Port terminals will be bustling for the next few days as terminal operators handle a backlog of vessels. A total of 23 ships are scheduled to call on Port docks by Tuesday. Included are 12 container vessels, nine break-bulk cargo vessels, and two cruise ships.

"We understand there are a lot of commercial activities that go into the decisions cargo carriers must make in these situations and we appreciate their patience during adverse times and their commitment to the Port of New Orleans," said Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange.

LaGrange thanked container carriers, such as Hapag-Lloyd, Mediterranean Shipping Company, CMACGM, Maersk, ZIM, Seaboard, CSAV and Libra for their patience while Port officials worked alongside the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and pilot associations to reopen the River Friday morning and return commerce to the Port of New Orleans.

"All of our partners and stakeholders again showed the dedication and resiliency that makes the Mississippi River the greatest River for commerce in the world," LaGrange said.

Ports America, which operates the Nashville Avenue Complex, worked break-bulk operations throughout today and New Orleans Terminal began receiving and discharging containers from the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal. In addition, Pacorini Global and Silocaf resumed operations today, as well.