The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) and the St. Tammany Corporation on April 27 entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together to grow trade, as well as to support existing and new business relationships for the benefit of the region and state of Louisiana.
Through cooperative efforts, the two entities will leverage the combined technical expertise and other resources to drive mutual economic benefits for both the Corporation and Port NOLA jurisdiction — particularly through the attraction of value-added manufacturing, product assembly, distribution and logistics centers. The agreement also calls for joint marketing efforts to meet those objectives.
The MOU was signed by Brandy D. Christian, President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans and CEO of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, and Chris Masingill, Chief Executive Officer of the St. Tammany Corporation. Representatives of the Louisiana Department of Economic Development (LED), St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper, St. Tammany Parish Development District Board of Commissioners President Marty Mayer, the New Orleans Business Alliance and St. Bernard’s Economic Development Foundation also attended in support of the goal to increase economic impact by leveraging trade and international commerce opportunities.
“As more and more people shop online, Louisiana is uniquely poised to attract the value-added manufacturing and distribution businesses being driven by e-commerce,” said Christian. “We are pleased to partner with the St. Tammany Corporation to promote our region’s advantageous commercial location and our unmatched supply chain connectivity by river, rail and road.”
Port NOLA and the state of Louisiana have been strategically working on the addition of distribution centers to promote additional development and business for the Port, and this MOU is the culmination of those discussions. The parties will work together to identify, attract and retain those businesses which mutually benefit both parties and foster the overall goal of regional prosperity.
“Dynamic networks build capacity and are true economic development assets. By joining our economic development colleagues who have an ongoing partnership with the Port of New Orleans, we are collectively strengthening the competitive advantage of our region,” said Chris Masingill, CEO of St. Tammany Corporation. “This partnership is essential for cultivating business development opportunities and advances the vision of St. Tammany Corporation to make St. Tammany one of the region’s top destinations of choice for businesses attraction, formation, expansion and retention.”
St. Tammany Corporation and Port NOLA also plan to create workforce development programs and employment training opportunities within the area which focus on manufacturing, distribution and logistics jobs. They will share information on trade, transportation and business trends, as well as contact information, which could generate new opportunities for job creation and job expansion within the respective areas of both parties.
“Louisiana’s 32 ports are economic engines that create and support jobs throughout Louisiana, and drive commerce all across our state,” said Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson. “Just as our ports have wide-ranging impacts far beyond their wharves and docks, this MOU between St. Tammany Corporation and the Port of New Orleans will have significant reach and result in economic impacts across a wide region. I congratulate these LED partners and wish them tremendous success in this new focused engagement.”
Distribution centers represent one of the most significant areas of opportunity for the region and state due to the strength of the area’s multimodal connectivity. In addition to Port NOLA’s deepwater berths and seamless connection to six Class 1 railroads via the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, transportation options include easy access to a robust interstate highway system to any market, and barge access to the industrial Midwest and major population centers like Chicago, Memphis and St. Louis. As logistics and supply chain needs evolve, businesses such as Medline and Amazon recognize the benefit of locating distribution facilities in Louisiana.
A proposed expansion of the Port NOLA complex with the addition of an international container terminal in St. Bernard Parish opens opportunity for new businesses and industries that can be located throughout the greater New Orleans region, including in St. Tammany Parish.
Support from our partners in Port NOLA’s three-parish jurisdiction:
“We are pleased that Port NOLA and the St. Tammany Corporation are partnering to drive opportunity to the region. Jefferson Parish, with its large population and diverse business base, stands to benefit when we and our neighbors attract new business and industry to the region” said Jerry Bologna, President and CEO of the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO). “As a key partner in Port NOLA’s three-parish jurisdiction, Jefferson Parish will continue to work cooperatively to identify opportunities for maritime and logistics development in Jefferson Parish and beyond.”
“The New Orleans Business Alliance is encouraged by another example of regionalism in practice. We are grateful for the thought leadership of Port NOLA and St. Tammany Corporation since it showcases our entire region as a place where businesses can grow, thrive and access global markets,” said Quentin Messer, Jr., President and CEO New Orleans Business Alliance. “This is a leadership model that should be replicated. A lot of work remains; however, today’s announcement represents another opportunity to create greater employment and business opportunities for all residents of the New Orleans region.”
“We see this cross-parish collaboration as not only a win for the entities involved, but for the Greater New Orleans region as a whole,” said Meaghan McCormack, Executive Director of the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation. “St. Bernard Parish is eager to see the opportunities that stem from this partnership and stands by ready to support initiatives that will aid our regional business ecosystem.”