Port of New Orleans is connected to the city's public belt railroad
THE majority of the work required to integrate the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad into the port of New Orleans has been completed
THE majority of the work required to integrate the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad into the port of New Orleans has been completed.
Port authorities said the initiative will accelerate rail flow even further after reducing time spent on its newly-controlled belt railroad by a quarter in the last 18 months, helping to speed up intermodal volumes that have surged by 23 per cent over the last year, reported JOC.
Since taking over the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, a 26-mile short-line connecting to the six class I railroads, in February, port officials say they've cut railcar dwell time to an average of 14 hours, down from 19 hours. The port is building a new storage track capable of handling 400 rail cars, raising the current storage space to 1,200 spaces by July 2020.
'We have already identified one location that is not our property that would add yet another 185 car lengths,' general manager of the Belt railroad Mike Stolzman was quoted as saying. 'We are just getting warmed up.'
Port officials say the added car storage space will help improve cargo flows by enabling the port to more swiftly classify incoming cars and move them on to where they are needed. The port also is looking to create more storage next to the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal so that cars could be dispatched faster without the port having to fetch them at a satellite location.
According to the port's CEO Brandy Christian the integration of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad into the port will make it easier for shippers to arrange transportation because the port can now line up rail transportation, rather than shippers or service providers having to negotiate with two entities.
The rise in intermodal activity - from 19,692 containers in the port's 2018 fiscal year to 24,153 in the 2019 fiscal year - stemmed in part from the launch of a weekly container train in May 2018 between the port and the Dallas area, Ms Christian said in an interview with JOC.com.
The launch of the port's first all-water container service from Asia two-and-a-half years ago also contributed to the intermodal growth. A second service, a weekly loop operated by 2M Alliance partners Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and Zim Integrated Shipping Services, began this month.