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executive director

deputy director

c h i e f

Roy Quezaire

o p e r at i n g o f f i c e r

airport director

Vincent Caire

director of business development

executive counsel

director of finance

director of o p e r at i o n s

director of human resources

s p e c i a l

Dale Hymel, Jr.

Cindy Martin

director of a d m i n i s t r at i o n

Paul Aucoin

projects officer

Linda Prudhomme Melissa Folse Grant Faucheux Brian Cox Tamara Kennedy Joel T. Chaisson

Lee “Buddy” Amedee

director of trade development

port of south louisiana 171 Belle Terre Blvd., P.O. Box 909 LaPlace, LA 70069-0909 Phone: (985) 652-9278 | Fax: (504) 568-6270 globalplex intermodal terminal Phone: (985) 652-9278 a s s o c i at e d t e r m i n a l s

Phone: (985) 233-8545 The Port of South Louisiana is a member of the Ports Association of Louisiana. To become an associate member of PAL and to help further the maritime industry in Louisiana, please visit PAL’s website at or call the PAL office at (225) 334-9040.

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director ’ s log



Global Maritime Ministries: Spiritual and Physical Wellness for Mariners

around the port Hunting, fishing and trapping in the River Regions what ’ s new

The Dredging Conversation in Washington D.C.

The Largest Tonnage Port In The Western Hemisphere

Maritime Security Along The Mississippi River

Updates from the Executive Regional Airport


what ’ s next


railways and the port The Port’s Connections with Three Class-1 Rails

Cooper Consolidated: Innovations Along The Mississippi

editor art director

p r o d u c t i o n

port people Meet Tommy Facheux

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port raits

v i c e

president of sales

port owned facilities

account executive

port map

final frame

What It Would Mean to Dredge 50 Feet

Jessica DeBold

Ali Sullivan


Emily Andras, Topher Balfer, Demi Schaffer, Molly Tullier

Colleen Monaghan

c o n t r i b u t i n g w r i t e r s

Brennan Manale Topher Balfer William Kalec Kevin O’Sullivan Jenny Peterson Sarah Ravits

To advertise call Brennan at (504) 830-7239 or email 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Ste. 123, Metairie, LA 70005 (504) 828-1380 •

NOMINATE “Port People” FOR AN UPCOMING ISSUE OF PORT LOG If you would like to send in a nomination for a member of the Port of South Louisiana maritime community to be featured in the next issue of Port Log, email your person’s contact information, position, and charitable contributions to


published by renaissance publishing llc

company profiles

Spring 2018 | Port of South Louisiana

Copyright 2018 The Port Log, Port of South Louisiana, and Renaissance Publishing LLC. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Port of South Louisiana, Post Office Box 909, LaPlace, LA 70069-0909. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the owner or Publisher. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the magazine’s managers, owners or publisher. The Port Log is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork even if accompanied by a self addressed stamped envelope.



n January 26, the Port of South Louisiana and the River Region Economic Development Initiative (RREDI) co-hosted the annual River Parishes Economic Development Breakfast in Washington D.C. The River Region Economic Development Initiative is comprised of leaders from the parishes of St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. James. RREDI was founded in 2004 with the primary purpose of developing strategies to further the economic growth and diversification of the region. The Port of South Louisiana has had a strong relationship with the coalition, assisting with industry studies, working on marketing plans, and partnering on projects that benefit the region. The event served as an opportunity for Louisiana lawmakers, businessmen, industry executives, and community leaders to network with Louisiana’s U.S. Congressional delegates and discuss crucial financial issues for the state. I was honored to serve as the emcee for the event. I also had the opportunity to speak about the importance of ports and the financial impact the maritime industry has had on Louisiana and the nation. In 2017, over 307 million short tons of cargo passed within the Port of South Louisiana alone; this is a number that is projected to increase as the $23.262 billion of announced capital investment begins to come online. We must do everything in our power to maintain the health of our maritime infrastructure which includes dredging the mouth of the Mississippi River, which is crucial to our economic growth, from 45 feet to 50 feet. Dredging the river will be possible with revenue collected from the Harbor Maintenance Tax. The Harbor Maintenance Tax, created as part of The Water Resource Act of 1986, places a 0.125 percent ad valorem-based fee on imports entering the country and therefore taking advantage of the U.S. port system. The fees are intended to require those who benefit from maintenance of U.S. ports and harbors to share the cost of the maintenance and are collected on imports, domestic shipments, foreign-trade zone admissions, and passengers. In the last 15 years, funds collected from the tax have exceeded estimates, creating a large surplus of funds — roughly $7 billion to $9 billion in revenue. A singular plan has been decided on by the American Association of Port Authorities in regard to the usage of these funds to dredge the Mississippi River; all that remains is Congressional approval and enactment of the plan. Dredging the river is vital to port commerce; not

d. paul robichaux president

pat sellars vice president


only is it a crucial necessity for Louisiana’s port industry, but for the ports in the nine other states bordering the Mississippi River as well. Other speakers at the luncheon included Louisiana U.S. Senators John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, Louisiana U.S. Representatives Cedric Richmond, Garret Graves, Ralph Abraham, Mike Johnson, and Clay Higgins. Topics discussed included the recent tax bill with importance placed on the areas of economic growth, job creation, and extensions for Louisiana residents affected by the recent floods. Other issues addressed were the $200 billion infrastructure grant package, health care reform, coastal restoration and water management and flood protection and FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Not present was U.S. Louisiana Representative and current House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, still recovering from injuries sustained last June. RREDI representatives who spoke at the luncheon included St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom, St. James Parish President Timothy Roussel, and Executive Director of Technology and Communication Anthony Ayo on behalf of St. Charles Parish. These leaders spoke about such crucial issues as labor force training, the Marketplace Fairness Act and its economic impact on Louisiana, flood protection (levee project funding), and industry growth (for example: there is currently $25 billion worth of industry looking to do business within St. James Parish). Among the additional attendees were Louisiana State Senator Gary Smith; Louisiana State House Representative Clay Schexnayder; Don Pierson, Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development; Deputy Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development Brad Lambert; and City of Lutcher Mayor Patrick St. Pierre. The 2018 River Parishes Economic Development Breakfast was very successful with the room filled to capacity with Louisiana’s top lawmakers, businessmen, industry leaders, executives, and elected officials. As executive director, I never pass up an opportunity to meet with our legislators in person and get the chance to speak with them face-to-face. The Washington Breakfast event is a time when they are all together and expecting to meet with Louisiana officials and industry representatives. This annual event is a great chance to personally thank them for all the work they do and to reinforce the importance of what we do down here and the best ways to keep this region strong economically. •

joseph scontrino executive vice president

p. joey murray

stanley bazile


s e c r e ta r y

robert "poncho" roussel

kelly buckwalter

whitney hickerson

judy songy

vice president

vice president

vice president

vice president

Spring 2018 | Port of South Louisiana


T R A N S P O R TAT I O N CENTER OF THE AMERICAS The state legislature established the Port of South Louisiana in 1960 to promote commerce and industrial development along the 54-mile stretch of the Mississippi River that runs through the St. Charles, St. John and St. James tri-parish regions.

m i ss i on

p h i losop h y

fac i l i t i es

The Port is charged with a mission to promote maritime commerce, trade and development, and to establish public and private partnerships for the creation of intermodal terminals and industrial facilities.

The Port’s philosophy of development is to entice companies to set up regional operations within its boundaries. The Port serves primarily as a “landlord” port to more than 30 grain, petroleum and chemical companies. The exception to this is the port-owned world-class intermodal Globalplex facility and the new SoLaPort facility.

Within the Port’s jurisdiction, there are seven grain elevators, multiple midstreaming operations, more than 40 liquid and dry-bulk terminals, the Globalplex Intermodal Terminal and the Port’s Executive Regional Airport.

governance The Port is under the jurisdiction of the state of Louisiana and authorized by the state constitution. A seven-member board of commissioners directs the Port; all of them are unsalaried. Four members are appointed by the governor, with one member representing each of the associated parishes and one at-large member; the remaining members are appointed by the presidents of each parish.

w orld ’ s l a rgest port d i str i ct The ports of South Louisiana, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, St. Bernard and Plaquemines make up the world’s largest continuous port district. They are responsible for moving onefifth of all U.S. foreign waterborne commerce.

port area The Port covers a 54-mile stretch of the lower Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. The Port begins at river mile 114.9AHP near the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and winds through St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and St. James parishes. It continues north to river mile 168.5AHP just north of the Sunshine Bridge.

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Open Season B y A n d rea B l u menste i n

H u nting, fishing and trapping in t he River Region


echnically speaking, the only two things required to try your hand at sporting the public lands of the river parishes are a valid license and equipment for catching your prey. Realistically, though, it takes a lot more. The expanse of southeast Louisiana that straddles the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans notoriously challenges even a skilled hunter, fisher or trapper. According to a few local legends, for a successful - or even marginally enjoyable - game expedition in the River Region, it helps to have the right footgear and a strong sense for the direction of the wind. And that is just for starters. For both locals and visitors, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries sets hunting seasons for everything from quadrupeds like squirrel and rabbit to alligators, whitetailed deer and various species of fish. A consultation with Wildlife Management


Spring 2018 | Port of South Louisiana

Area and Federal Land Schedules ensures hunting and fishing activities are deployed legally for the specific open season.

Your Crappie is my Sac-a-lait Along a stretch of Airline Highway (US 61) in Gramercy, Ronald “Shine” Boudreaux, a retired constable from District 1 in St. James Parish, stands nearly hidden under a covered bridge where he forgoes fancy fishing rods for a cane pole. “Been fishing there since I was twelve years old,” says Shine. “The best time is when it is cloudy like this or if it is kinda cold.” His usual spot of choice is the second covered bridge where he uses a blue or white jig to catch his sac-a-lait. “Sometimes I use grass shrimp,” he says. “I catch them on the side of the road.” It is sac-a-lait in St. James Parish, but others might know these fish as a crappie outside of the Louisiana bayou.

Shine, who earned his nickname back from his boyhood because the other boys at school always saw him smiling, also heads out to Vacherie, Louisiana to LA 20 where there is another such covered bridge, with fish biting on a cold, overcast day. Today, with two sons and a daughter grown, fishing is a way to take the stress of the mind. “I go out for about three or four hours,” he says. “It is very relaxing. I remember the first time I caught a sac-a-lait with my son, who was six at the time. He also caught some.”

A Lineage of Swamp Hunters A true understanding of how to navigate the challenging terrain of the River Region requires years, even generations, of experience moving through submerged aquatics, red maple and fourchette of the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area. In Garyville, the Hymel family is of old swamper

AROUND THE PORT bloodline. Clyde (father), Kerry (son) and Travis (grandson) continue the family tradition. At 91 years young, Clyde Hymel is retired from the sport, but his legacy remains. “One time an alligator was coming at me with his mouth open,” he says. “I had to stick my rifle in his mouth and pull the trigger until he released his grip.” The alligator involved probably shouldn’t have snapped at such a legend. His son, Kerry Hymel, remembers the old stories. “Grandaddy was a professional alligator hunter in his younger days,” he says. “They didn’t trap them, they hunted them down. Trailed them through the swamps. In the summertime, my granddad would follow the bubble tracks.” Alligator hunting was stopped in the mid ‘60s, and re-launched more than a decade later after the population grew enough for a season. “They authorize any landowner to catch it,” Kerry says, adding that he uses mostly chicken leg quarters that have gone stale purchased from the local grocery.

Deer tracking, swamp-style The Hymel’s hunt private land, a lease for which Travis Hymel remembers as started by Clyde Hymel’s father-in-law. “The lease has carried on since then,” says Travis, “Decades and decades of private hunting.” All of the living Hymels will tell you that they grew up on the

land. “In Louisiana,” Kerry says, “Most of us have purchased a lifetime license. Over the course of five years it has paid for itself.” “We are surrounded by one of the largest public lands, Maurepas Wildlife State Management Area,” says Travis. “You have to have a license, but it is self check-in with three stations spread throughout where you can put in your personal details and then hunt whatever is in open season.” River parishes are swamp hunting. “It is probably the hardest deer hunting anywhere,” says Kerry. “With water over your knee or up to your waist, it can take eight hours to walk less than a mile. It is a very beautiful technique for oldetimers that did it their whole life.”

Chest-waiters and other tips Kerry Hymel explains that deer hunting is an all-day thing, but he found, over the years, that deer move better between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. because they feed a lot. The sun is not in their eyes.” Kerry shares how the lake tides control the depth, an east or south wind pulls the water in and a north or west takes the water out of the swamp. The worst part is the water, but, says Kerry, “When you get a really good trophy you can call someone to help you.” For the Hymels, finding a friend is an easy call; someone will happily come help you float your tag. •

PHOTOS OPPOSING PAGE: Ronald “Shine” Boudreaux fishes at one of his favorite canals. THIS PAGE TOP: Clyde Hymel, 1st Generation MIDDLE: 2nd Generation, Kerry Hymel BOTTOM LEFT: 3rd Generation, Travis Hymel BOTTOM RIGHT: Homer Deslatte, Clyde’s father-in-law

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W H AT ’ S N E W


B y W i ll i am K alec

The Port of South Louisiana along with the River Region Economic Development Initiative traveled to our nation’s Captial


pparently, pancakes and policy do go together. On Jan. 29, 2018, Port of South Louisiana Executive Director Paul Aucoin spoke at the River Parishes Economic Development Breakfast held in Washington, D.C. In attendance were members of the River Region Economic Development Initiative, including St. John Parish President Natalie Robottom, St. James Parish President Timothy Roussel and St. Charles Parish Executive Director of Technology and Communication Anthony Ayo, along with members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation and Louisiana’s U.S. Senators. Also in attendance were Louisiana State Senator Gary Smith, Louisiana State Rep. Clay Schexnayder, Lutcher Mayor Patrick St. Pierre, plus Don Pierson and Brad Lambert of Louisiana Economic Development . “You never pass up an opportunity to meet with your legislators in person and get the chance to speak with them face-to-face,” Aucoin says. “And this is a time when they’re all together and expecting to meet with us. They’re receptive, their staff is receptive, and it’s just a great chance to personally thank them for all the work they do, and to reinforce the importance of what we do down here and the best ways to keep this region strong economically.” Other speakers touched on a variety of issues such as flood protection, coastal


Spring 2018 | Port of South Louisiana

restoration and flood management, and ensuring the educational infrastructure is in place to create skilled job applicants capable of handling the technical requirements of open positions within the Port District. Aucoin focused much of his conversations on revenue collected from the Harbor Maintenance Tax and the critical importance of using those funds to dredge the Mississippi River Ship Channel from its current depth of 45 feet to 50 feet. “If you ask me, there’s one big issue: Dredging the mouth of the [Mississippi] River,” Aucoin said. “So that’s what I went to Washington to speak about. ‘We have a plan. Please help us adopt it, now.’ It’s a plan that’s very generous [to Louisiana ports], and now hopefully Congress will enact the plan now that all the ports are in agreement.” Aucoin accented the importance of this union between ports along the river and Louisiana’s economic potential with this investment as well as the consequences to all if the project is not brought to successful completion and funded for appropriate maintenance. “Dredging is so vital. Not just for us, but for those 31 states that send materials down the River to us,” Aucoin continues. “If the mouth [of the Mississippi River] is clogged up, then they suffer from extra costs incurred. To us, it’s a no-brainer, but it never hurts to make everyone aware of it.” Created in 1986 as part of The Water Resource Act, the Harbor Maintenance Tax places a 0.125

percent ad valorem-based fee on imports entering the country, and therefore taking advantage of the U.S. port system. Initially, money collected from the tax was designated to fund maritime maintenance and necessary projects, although in some years funds were deferred to pay down the national debt. In the last 15 years, funds collected from the tax has exceeded projections, creating a large surplus of funds — roughly $7 billion to $9 billion. Around the beginning of the year, Aucoin and every member of the American Association of Port Authorities agreed on a singular plan on how those surplus funds should be spent, and now it’s up to Congress to pass a bill that adopts that plan. So that’s why Aucoin, in every opportunity presented, talked to political influencers representing Louisiana and other states that benefit from maritime commerce on the Mississippi River about the importance of this dredging project and other dredging projects across the country. “I will say, a lot of people understand the message of how important the Port System is to the country. But I’ll never stop spreading that message,” Aucoin said “The five ports here from Baton Rouge to the mouth of the [Mississippi] River are vital to our region but also vital to our state, and all the states. The mouth of the River being clogged up is a U.S. problem, not just a Louisiana problem.” •

W H AT ’ S N E W

MORE THAN JUST A NUMBER B y W i ll i am K alec

T he 2 017 totals are in: Port of S o u t h L o u is iana remains t he largest tonnage port in the W estern Hem isp here


f you will, let Paul Aucoin, the Executive Director of the Port of South Louisiana, share a story: Recently, Aucoin attended a meeting. Along with himself, dozens of other Port Directors from across the country filled the conference room. To break the ice, the emcee of the meeting asked all these Port Directors what’s their biggest problem to solve in the next year? One by one, the Port Directors answered. A couple spoke of traffic. Another said lack of skilled labor. Then, it was Aucoin’s turn. “And they get to me and I say, ‘My biggest problem is trying to accommodate the number of companies that want to relocate in the Port.’ And it is!” Aucoin said. “But I guess that’s a good problem to have.” The numbers back up Aucoin’s claim. In 2017, the Port of South Louisiana set an unprecedented cargo-volume record, as its total tonnage was more than 307.8 million short tons – an amount that once again makes it the largest tonnage port in the Western Hemisphere. The 2017 tonnage total marks a 4.4 percent increase from the 2016 total of 294.9 million short tons. While there are many factors contributing to the eye-popping 2017 totals, large percentage increases in the handling of coal, lignite, soda, chemicals, fertilizers and steel products greatly contributed to the rise of 12.9 million short tons from last year to two years ago. “Let me tell you, some ports don’t even do 12 million tons in a year, let alone as an increase,” Aucoin said. “So it’s amazing to think we’re ahead of all these ports that people might think of first – San Diego, Houston. It’s always nice to be number 1.” For the Port of South Louisiana, the recognition of being the “Largest Tonnage Port in the Western Hemisphere” is an esteemed distinction. Aucoin explained that the Port uses the accolade as an “indirect recruiting tool” — almost validation that the Port must be an efficient and economically effective locale, providing assurance to potential new clients that might not be familiar with the Port. Aucoin pointed that

these potential new clients must look at the tonnage rankings and think, “if that many shippers use the Mississippi River to do their shipping, it can’t be a bad place for a container port, for example.” From there, Port officials run market studies for interested clients, illustrating to them the cost and performance benefits of setting up operations within this 54-mile stretch of the Mississippi River. Though proud of its 2017 tonnage ranking, Port officials know success isn’t sustainable without continued growth and continued progress in making the Port of South Louisiana attractive for its current and future clients. While the Port’s infrastructure and the low cost and abundance of natural gas in the region are certainly reasons for companies to expand or relocate in the River Parishes, Aucoin says there are plenty of issues out there that, if not addressed, might adversely affect maritime transit along the Mississippi River. Namely, Aucoin continues to wave the flag for dredging the mouth of the Mississippi River Ship Channel from 45 feet to 50 feet. In fact,

Aucoin calls the proposed measure the most important infrastructure project in the United States, currently. Here’s why: Every foot of draft on a Panamax or neo-Panamax vessel equates to an average of $1 million in cargo value per vessel. Therefore, less draft means lost revenues and fewer exports. Considering the amount of vessels and cargo that navigate the Mississippi River annually, dredging a mere five feet will result in more than $1 billion in additional commerce and keep venues like the Port of South Louisiana viable in an ultra-competitive global marketplace. “We’re always mindful of bringing in new prospects and what it takes to attract those prospects,” Aucoin said. “Right now, my economic development department tells me that we have $23 billion worth of announced projects – billion with a ‘B’ – that plan on locating in the Port. That speaks well of the River Parishes, the future of the River Parishes and the jobs we’ll be creating there. But we always have to be mindful of what it takes and what it will take to keep doing that.” •

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W H AT ’ S N E W

P R E PA R E D F O R A N Y S I T U AT I O N B y W i ll i am K alec

T esting effective responses to potential t hreats to mar it ime sec urity along the Miss iss ipp i River


his is a test. This is only a test. But, when it comes to maritime security – protecting America’s waterways, nautical infrastructure and the intricate Port system – “tests” become serious business. Whether the danger comes from a natural disaster, unforeseen emergency or accident, or a domestic or foreign terrorist threat, responding in a timely, effective manner is a National and International matter since so much of the domestic and global economy leans upon maritime transit. Therefore, it’s paramount to prepare for such scenarios, which is why last quarter security officials from the Port of South Louisiana and 3 neighboring ports, the U.S. Coast Guard, InfraGard Louisiana, the FBI and municipal emergency management teams from Kenner and St. Bernard all came together and participated in a multi-agency simulation exercise. The 8th NOLASEC Communications Exercise was led by Commander Eric J. Acosta of the Port of St. Bernard and Lester Millet III, the Safety Risk Manager at the Port of South Louisiana, who together essentially orchestrated faux (yet still realistic) physical threats and cyberattacks upon the lower Mississippi River that tested the preparedness of various security agencies and their ability to work in unison under dire conditions. For obvious reasons, Millet III couldn’t reveal the specific details of the test, but did credit


Spring 2018 | Port of South Louisiana

Acosta for creating a worthwhile and complex multi-layer exercise. The NOLASEC exercise was sanctioned and approved by the New Orleans sector of the U.S. Coast Guard and sponsored by InfraGard Louisiana. “These exercises that Eric (Acosta) and I have done are some of the largest in Louisiana,” Millet III said. “We’re very proud of the exercise, we wrote the exercise, and delivered it. The whole point is to test and validate your plans and procedures, this time in a simulated crisis. “One of my favorite sayings is, ‘Practice like you play,’” Millet III continued. “So, if you don’t test and validate your plans and protocols, then when it comes time to actually use them, you might have issues.” Port of South Louisiana Executive Director Paul Aucoin added: “It never hurts to be prepared, because you never really know what could happen. So we’re asked to always participate in these exercises and they’re always good for us – to test our preparedness and make sure we’re communicating properly. Maritime security is what it boils down to, and I think it should give everyone a sense of assuredness that we are doing this – that we’re not taking things for granted and willing to test to see, ‘Just how prepared are we?’” In total, 152 individuals representing 71 facilities and 15 agencies participated in the NOLASEC simulation exercise, which

took place along a 55-mile stretch of the Mississippi River ranging from Davant, Louisiana, to River Mile 234 in Port Allen. During the course of the exercise, various facets of these agencies’ maritime security operations were tested, including: communications, the capabilities of Incident Command Systems, the Incident Command and Control units of the Maritime Security Operations Center, and Intelligence Analysis and Production. By participating in the exercise, facilities and vessels earned their annual security credit from the U.S. Coast Guard. Additionally, the New Orleans Sector of the U.S. Coast Guard had its Area Maritime Security Plans (AMSP) tested and validated. Millet III says a detailed after-action report of the exercise in identifying major strengths, along with recommended corrective measure for the Coast Guard’s AMSP will be authored and kept on file at Sector New Orleans. “These tests are important because it shows us where we are – what we’re doing well and what needs to be improved,” Aucoin said. “If our response to something is off, or our communication is poor, those are the things you want to know from a test so that you can immediately correct it. It never hurts to get better at what you do, and to be at your best just in case this played out in a real-world situation.” •

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W H AT ’ S N E W


After undergoing a complete transformation, the Port of South Louisiana’s Executive Regional Airport has had a busy start to 2018


t the Port of South Louisiana’s Executive Regional Airport, operations are in full flight. The Port released three major announcements involving the Airport – welcoming a seasonal tenant in its new transient hangar, a historical, hands-on aviation attraction, and the return of last year’s Aviation Awareness Day. All of which showcase the ultimate benefit of the money and manpower put into the Port’s years long “Master Plan” to makeover and modernize the entire facility.


Spring 2018 | Port of South Louisiana

New Tenant In January and February 2018, airport officials welcomed the crew and staff of Air2, Inc. – an electrical powerline inspection and repair company that performs aerial upkeep of remotely located extra-high-voltage powerlines. The Maryland-based company strives to deliver customer-focused services with maximum efficiency and productivity, providing premier construction, maintenance, emergency response to North American utility companies.

Two of Air2’s MD500 helicopters were kept covered from the sometimes dubious winter weather of South Louisiana at the Port’s brand-new 6,300-square-foot transient hangar, which Airport Director Vincent Caire described in the past as an, “Aircraft Hotel.” “Air2 was looking for a temporary seasonal base of operations that can conveniently support their staff and shelter their aircraft in close proximity to the worksite,” Caire says. “Flying electrical powerline inspection is one of a number of applications of aviation

W H AT ’ S N E W that is often overlooked or even unknown to citizens having minimal exposure to the multitude of airport and aircraft operations regularly conducted, and we are honored that Air2 chose Executive Regional for their seasonal operations base.”

Aviation Awareness Day Shifting from economic impact to entertainment, the Port is happy to announce it will once again host the St. John the Baptist Parish Aviation Awareness Day after the inaugural 2017 event was a huge success. The event is organized by non-profit, “Guys Achieving Goals,” which is designed to introduce kids to aviation, potentially pique their interest in an aviation career, and promote the importance of math and science. Last year, more than 250 kids were able to literally take flight, flying with volunteer pilots in a variety of aircraft. Aucoin said that plans for the 2018 event call for doubling the number of aircraft from seven to fourteen, along with additional displays and attractions.

Flying Luxuriously The Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport is one of the stops on this year’s Experimental Aircraft Association’s “Ford Tri-Motor Tour.” From April 26 to April 29, those from the River Parishes and beyond can purchase tickets and hitch a ride on the Ford Tri-Motor plane or stop by if they just want to see it. Caire credited Lisa Braud of the Port of South Louisiana for being instrumental in landing the event. “This is a big deal to the aviation enthusiast, the history buffs and the entire region, everyone I have spoken with is excited about this aircraft coming to Reserve,” stated Braud, foreign trade zone manager. The Ford Tri-Motor plane will be stored in the new transient hangar while on site. Designed by the Ford Motor Company from 1926 to 1933, the Ford Tri-Motor plane was nicknamed the “Tin Goose” and was innovative in a number of ways. It was the first aircraft to have an enclosed cabin for passengers and pilots – although the earliest models had an open cockpit as most pilots felt more comfortable if they could feel the elements. In total, Ford built 199 Tri-Motors. The one at the Executive Regional Airport is the 146th plane off the assembly line. In the 1970s, the EAA purchased the Ford Tri-Motor and spent 12 long and taxing years restoring the plane to its former glory. For a brief period, it was kept in an aviation museum, until EAA brass decided it could better excite the masses and promote the industry if it once again took to the skies, offering those lucky enough to ride it a trip aboard history. Discounted tickets can be purchased at, or can be bought on the weekend of the event at the St. John Executive Regional Airport. When asked whether he’ll be taking a ride in the Ford TriMotor, Caire responded, “Absolutely!” “Certainly events such as these are marketing opportunities (for the airport),” Caire said. “However, another real advantage outside of the obvious practical business applications for Port tenants operating along the Mississippi River is to promote the career opportunities associated with aviation, and the impact that flying has on a community, much like the Air2 helicopter operations, that many may not be aware of without attending these special events hosted by Executive Regional Airport.” •

PHOTOS TOP: The Ford Tri-Motor plane will make its first visit to the River Region and to South LA in April. MIDDLE: Air2 operations shown here conducting an electrical line inspection. BOTTOM: The Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional is frequently visited by corporate jets.

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W H AT ’ S N E X T

T i me to G o Deep B y c h r i s pr i ce | A s pr i nte d i n t h e F ebr u ar y 2 0 1 8 i ss u e of B i z N e w O r l e a n s M a g a z i n e

S outh east Louisiana maritime profess ionals cont in u e t he ir f ig ht to d red ge to 50 feet


he 230 miles of the meandering Mississippi River on either side of New Orleans are home to the world’s largest port system. Collectively, the five deep-water ports on the lower Mississippi River — New Orleans, South Louisiana, Baton Rouge, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines — handle more tonnage than any other port in the world, providing billions of dollars in annual economic impact and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs. Nearly 12,000 ships — including 6,000 oceangoing vessels — travel the lower river corridor annually, carrying 500 million tons of cargo and 700,000 cruise passengers. Those numbers may soon increase, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a plan to increase the depth of the Mississippi River to accommodate larger cargo ships built in the wake of the Panama Canal expansion.


Spring 2018 | Port of South Louisiana

Life on the Mississippi The Mississippi River and its tributaries connect 31 states and two Canadian provinces through the third largest river basin in the world, all of which funnels through southeastern Louisiana. In a 2012 paper prepared for The Ports Association of Louisiana, The Economic Impact of the Ports of Louisiana, LSU economist James A. Richardson said the combined economic impact of the state’s ports, providers of port and vessel services, businesses operating within the ports, and cruise ship operations — most of it centered in the lower Mississippi River corridor — includes almost 73,000 jobs created and supported. It also includes personal earnings of $3.96 billion, and state and local tax collections of $517 million per year with approximately $289 million going to the state government and

$228 million going to local governments. When connected industries — including agriculture, oil and gas, petrochemical and coal products, chemicals and related products, food and related products, paper, wood, and fabricated metals — which rely on the ports to assist in moving their goods are included, Richardson said the figures jump to almost 400,000 jobs and personal earnings of close to $20 billion. Those figures are based on the Mississippi’s current maximum depth, which is supposed to be maintained at 45 to 47 feet, but has been as low as 41 feet in recent years. That has caused some larger ships to unload some of their cargo before they enter the river’s mouth, resulting in delays, increased logistical costs and a reduction in the region’s ability to compete globally by pushing business away from Southeast Louisiana.

W H AT ’ S N E X T Deeper River, Healthier Wetlands One of the most exciting aspects of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ plan to increase the depth of the Mississippi River is its idea to use dredge sediment to help restore more than 1,400 acres of wetlands in Plaquemines Parish in the federally owned Delta National Wildlife Refuge and the state owned Passa-Loutre Wildlife Management Area. It is estimated both wildlife areas have lost more than 800 acres over the past 50 years due to saltwater seepage from the Gulf of Mexico into the freshwater wetlands. The Corps expects the dredging project to produce about 18 million cubic yards of sediment. As an added benefit, diverting the mud into the restoration of the nearby wetlands is expected to be cheaper than transporting it from the riverbanks. A lower bill helps taxpayers, but that’s not the only way we win. More wetlands mean more protection from the wrath of storm surge and flooding from future hurricanes and tropical storms, hopefully limiting the financial exposure to rebuilding projects.

Panama Canal expansion drives global change The expansion of the Panama Canal in June 2016 has created waves of change around the globe as the maritime industry continues to react to larger ships with nearly tripled cargo capacity being allowed to traverse the nautical shortcut. The widening and deepening of the canal led to the creation of the Neopanamax, or New Panamax, size limits for ships to safely travel through the canal. Based on new lock dimensions of 1,401 feet in length, 180 feet in beam (width), and 60 feet in depth, the canal can now accommodate ships with a 1,201 foot length, 160-foot beam, 50-foot draft, and a capacity of 14,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), the size of a standard shipping container. Its previous maximum was ships 950 feet in length, with a 106-foot beam, 39.5-foot draft, and 5,000 TEU capacity. Naval architects and ship builders have been scrambling to construct new cargo ships to appease shippers, and ports are working diligently to update their facilities to accommodate the larger vessels. The shift has been so dramatic that according to the BBC, pre-expansion or “old Panamax” ships, some less than a decade old, have been sold for scrap. Several U.S. ports, including New York and New Jersey, Miami, Norfolk and Baltimore,

have or are in the process of increasing their wharfs’ depths to 50 feet to accommodate the new ships. Ports in Jacksonville, Florida, Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, are considering going to 50 feet, and Mobile, Alabama, recently dredged to 45 feet. Container shipping has been a major priority for the Port of New Orleans. In fiscal year 2017, the port handled more than half a million TEUs for the third consecutive year and is capable of handling 840,000 TEUs annually, with a potential expansion footprint at the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal that allows for a capacity of up to 1.5 million TEUs.

A Mightier Mississippi A Corps of Engineers study says the 50-foot depth would provide a $96.8 million annual benefit to the U.S. economy. The dredging project’s estimated cost is $238 million, of which the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) would pay about $120 million, with annual maintenance and operating cost paid by the federal government. Sean Duffy is executive director of the Big River Coalition (BRC), a collection of more than 110 maritime businesses, trade associations and port authorities that do business on the Mississippi River and its tributaries, which he describes as a maritime superhighway. Duffy says the benefits of dredging for the entire U.S. clearly far outweigh the costs. According to the study “The Economic Impact of Deepening the Mississippi River to 50 feet,” co-sponsored by both the BRC and the DOTD, the U.S. economy will add 17,000 jobs as a result of the increase in production and $849.5 million in increased income for American workers. “The BRC has often discussed the importance of the Mississippi River to the American farmers, as the ship channel connects over 350 million acres of agricultural lands to international markets,” Duffy said. “American farmers export up to 70 percent of U.S. agricultural exports to world markets via waterborne commerce on the Mississippi River, and the ship channel deepening project offers significant reductions in shipping costs. The math is easy.”

What’s Next? The Corps is expected to approve and release a director’s report in May 2018, at which time Congress must approve the

dredging project. Once funds are allocated and construction begins, the project is estimated to take between three to five years to complete. Port of South Louisiana Executive Director, Paul Aucoin, said Congress needs to approve the project and has the money to do it through funds raised by the harbor maintenance tax on all imported cargo with the funds directed to dredging. “Fifty feet is what we ought to consider a normal depth – every day, all day,” Aucoin said. “It’s a U.S. issue, not just a Louisiana issue.” Aucoin added that with grain from 31 states shipped though the mouth of the Mississippi River, it affects business across the country when a ship is quoted a shipping price of $22 a ton based on loading a ship to 45 feet of draft, only to face a restriction to 41 feet that causes them to loose valuable space and have that cost go up to $27 a ton. Plus, there is surplus of cargo left on the dock that must be dealt with. On the flip side, if a ship comes in from Shanghai at 45 ft, but can’t get into the river, it has to wait for the river to rise to unload some of its cargo before coming upstream, adding stops and increasing cargo storage, fuel and related costs. “It doesn’t play well on the world market,” Aucoin said. “This is about being reliable and competitive. If we don’t address it, it’s going to affect us.”

Cargo Ship Comparison The Panama Canal expansion, completed in 2016, allows much larger cargo ships to travel through the nautical shortcut. Panamax refers to size limits for ships to safely travel through the canal. The change has East Coast and Gulf Coast ports increasing the depth of their terminals to 50 feet to accommodate modern container ships built to the new guidelines.


New Panamax


52,500 DWT*

120,000 DWT


950 ft.

1,201 ft.


106 ft.

161 ft.


190 ft.

190 ft.


39.5 ft.

50 ft.


5,000 TEU**

13,000 TEU

Enacted 1914


* Deadweight tonnage is the amount of weight a ship is carrying **Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit, the size of a standard shipping container


Uniting the World B y A n d rea B l u menste i n

P ort of South Louisiana Connects t he G lobal M arket w it h a strong network of Class-1 Ra ils


t any given moment, veins of railroad tracks that dissect the Americas from the Port of South Louisiana pulse with infusions of grain, oil and other bulk goods. The port links three major rail companies to an array of intermodal transportation that connects the global market. The 54 miles of port along the Mississippi River is a truly modern marvel meeting point of waterway, roadway, rail and air. The Port is served by three trunk line railroads. On the West Bank, Union Pacific threads the line toward the opposite coast. On the East Bank, Canadian National pulls north and Kansas City Southern links to the lower hemisphere.

What Works on the West Bank Union Pacific has a dedicated staff focused on their relationship with the Port of South Louisiana. Their 155-year history


Spring 2018 | Port of South Louisiana

of hauling cargo across the western twothirds of the United Sates situates them as a leader in cross-country logistics. “As we work to provide freight rail solutions to our customers, innovation and technology play large roles,” said Jeff DeGraff, Director of Corporate and Media Relations at Union Pacific Railroad. “We are constantly working to find new ideas to become an even safer and efficient railroad. From Automatic Equipment Identifiers to Mobile Work Order systems, we are finding ways to enhance our customer service experience.” The Port of South Louisiana is the largest tonnage port in the western hemisphere. For an organization to run as efficiently as it does, strong partnerships are integral. “Union Pacific believes in being an active member of the communities that we serve. We regularly invest in programs and organizations that improve quality of life and economic development,” said DeGraff. “Our

Union Pacific Foundation provides grants to a number of Louisiana organizations, and our UP employees are active members and participants of various boards throughout the area.” As global trade progresses into the future of intermodal traffic, Union Pacific, as a class-one rail, is proud of its substantial history. Over the past century and a half, Union Pacific has seen cargo evolve. “As we see in Louisiana and the Gulf South, a new petrochemical boom is upon us as oil refiners and plastics producers are investing billions in the region. Additionally, American consumers are participating in the global marketplace more than ever, and intermodal shipping is making that economic and feasible,” said DeGraff. Union Pacific is making headlines with drone technology. Since 2014, the pioneer rail company strategically replaces treacherous inspection stations dangling


high in the sky with drone technology. The drone technology is not without its limitations and has not made its way to the Port of South Louisiana. Critical data and safety remain top priorities as they embrace growth opportunities. “Drones are becoming a valued member of our team,” said DeGraff, but he adds that this is just a small part of a larger whole. “Union Pacific values our relationships with our partners at the Port of South Louisiana,” said DeGraff. The company is proud of their ability to help customers expand reach. “This applies to both customers bringing goods into the port that need to be transported across the US, and to customers looking for ways to push their domestically produced goods to wider global markets,” said DeGraff.

Growing East Bank Partners The Kansas City Southern Railway Company (KCS) officials recently began preliminary negotiations with the port about access to the Globalplex facility as it undergoes transformation. The historic space known as Globalplex, formerly served as a sugar-refining complex, continues to play a large role in the economy today. Globalplex Intermodal Terminal is a public 135-hectare maritime industrial port. For bulk transit companies like KCS, Globalplex occupies an excellent location for both manufacture and transit. Though KCS does not have direct access to the Port of South Louisiana today, they continue to serve several customers within the district. “KCS is just one interchange away from

every major market in North America,” said Doniele Carlson, AVP Corporate Communications & Community Affairs. “Our alliances with all other railroads - large and small – give us a strong competitive advantage.” Their customers have access to Gulf of Mexico ports like Matamoros, Tampico and Veracruz in Mexico and Beaumont, New Orleans, Corpus Christi, Gulfport, Lake Charles, Mobile and Port Arthur in the United States for connections to the sea. “Once inland, customer shipments are further expedited with KCS’ timeefficient and cost-effective distribution and transload program,” said Carlson. The program involves a partnership with select warehouse, trucking and logistics firms. “KCS essentially extends the economies of rail for each shipment’s ultimate destination,” said Carlson. “Billing is simplified, too, with one, single-source door-to-door rate.” The River Region sits between the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico and connections to markets in the southern hemisphere – sometimes in just two days by rail - are important to many distributors. Market access is one of the important business development incentives for investors looking to join the bustling business center.

Gazing North CN is the largest railroad in Canada, and the line cuts through Chicago before heading south to Louisiana. The company transitioned from a government-owner railway to a

public traded company in 1995. Since then, expansion by a series of acquisitions has led to the current size of the company. “None was bigger than the 1999 acquisition of the Illinois Central Corporation which added the Illinois Central Railroad to CN’s network,” said Patrick Waldron, senior manager of public affairs at CN.  Today, current and potential businesses have access through a unique, expansive network thanks to the strategic acquisitions of CN over the past two decades.  “CN’s unique, expansive network reaches from the Gulf Coast north parallel to the Mississippi River to Chicago and across the Upper Midwest through Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana and Michigan. It stretches across Canada from the West Coast in British Columbia to Halifax in Nova Scotia connecting markets across North America and the world. We work with Port of South Louisiana to attract more business to St. John the Baptist Parish,” said Waldron. Bayou Steel Group, Pinnacle Polymer and Evonik are among the heavy-hitters along the St. John the Baptist territory. ADM Reserve and Globalplex, both owned by Port of South Louisiana, also have roots there. “CN’s Baton Rouge subdivision stretches from Baton Rouge to New Orleans along this key corridor serviced by the Port of South Louisiana,” said Waldron. “Bulk products such as coal, grain and other materials such as iron and steel move to and from customers and industries at the Port of South Louisiana.”

The Future of Rail As the world connects through diverse threads of commerce, rail remains an important keystone in multimodal transportation. Continued investment in these important freight routes will continue their historic legacy. As a “key to the world,” the Port of South Louisiana relies on its rail systems for a significant portion of bulk transport. The Port of South Louisiana operates one of the most active Foreign Trade Zones in America. In 2016, the zone received over $39 billion in merchandise and facilitated the employment of 6,200. The railways, seven grain elevators and more than 40 liquid and dry bulk terminals no doubt play a role in this success. Today, partnerships continue to grow along the port, making the future bright for the big three rails in its service. •

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The Spirit of the Port B y K e v in O ’ S u lli v a n

G lobal M aritime Ministr ies lea ds da ily pract ices to provide p hys ical and spiritual wellness for mar iners


lobal Maritime Ministries supports the large Port community with spiritual wellness, a service that has been a beacon to mariners entering the River Parishes for over 50 years. The Port of South Louisiana takes in the most domestic and international imports of any port in the country. Seafarers from all across the world dock at the Port to load and unload cargo, and often get out to stretch on dry land for the first time in up to nine months. Global Maritime Ministries sees this community needs a grounding force to help them endure the changing tides and spiritual instability of this type of work. It was in 1962 that Reverend John Vanderook undertook the responsibility of working with international mariners at the Port of New Orleans. In the following years, what he then called the “New Orleans Baptist Seamen’s Service,” would deliver gospel sermons and helpful materials out of a mobile home to the aid of thousands of seafarers from all across


Spring 2018 | Port of South Louisiana

the world. It wasn’t until 1999 after the mission had grown beyond Vandercook’s imagination and had been passed down to his son Reverend Philip Vandercook, that the ministry was renamed Global Maritime Ministries and began to take root with two ministry centers, one in New Orleans, the other in Reserve. “In the 50 years that this has been running, our ministry has run across every situation you could imagine,” said Robert Roussel, a pastor at Reserve’s First Baptist Church. Roussel has been the Port Chaplain with Global Maritime Ministries at the port in Reserve for almost two years and has already begun to see the importance of this ministry in supporting the betterment of seafaring life. “On rare occassions, some people that we talk to are being taken advantage of—they’re not being paid, the work they’re doing is unsafe, or their living situations are inadequate.” Rousell does emphasize that the majority of the ship owners follow ethical guidelines as well as international standards for seafarer safety and living conditions.

“Our first priority is to make sure that we address the health and happiness of the seafarers at our Port. Then, we offer the gospel. We spread the word and have conversations about spiritual welfare and put forth the message that we’re here for them in whatever form they need us.” This mission of humanitarian effort reaches every corner of the Earth. Every morning that Roussel gets to work there is at least one new ship docked at the Reserve Port — a ship full of workers to provide holistic ministry. The Port mainly deals with cargo. These ships are either coming up the river or leaving the river to set sail to the other side of the globe. In the two years that Roussel has been at Global Maritime Ministries, he’s seen just about every nationality and language represented at the Port, and inside the ministry, there are bookshelves full of Bibles in just about all of them. “The average contract at sea is nine months, and a lot of people docking here are preparing for a 52 day, non-stop voyage to China, interacting with the same 22





people the entire way,” said Roussel, “That’s what makes our service such a beacon for them. We tell them that they’re welcome to come to our facility at the port whenever they want to use our WiFi and our phones to get in touch with their families.” The isolation and monotonous aspects of the seafarers’ jobs can be relieved with the big hearts of the people working at Global Maritme Ministries. “Most of the time they just want to sit down, have a cup of coffee and talk. They want some new human interaction,” Roussel said. “Sometimes I even bring my kids here and you can see the seafarer’s faces light up because they haven’t seen children in a very long time and probably miss their own.” Fun gaming activities are another powerful, energetic outlet for the seafarers. “We also have recreational amenities in here that they enjoy, like ping pong, pool, air hockey and foosball tables. Getting them on solid ground to put their heads back and relax here for a couple of hours in between shifts is a pretty big deal to them. But probably the biggest thing we offer is free


transportation to places like Walmart or wherever they need to pick something up.” There are two Port Chaplains on staff at the Port, Roussel and his co-minister Adam McCarty, and they spend a significant part of their days providing this transportation to the seafarers that need to get some shopping done. The rides to replace broken laptops or to refill the medical center’s oxygen tanks provide Roussel and McCarty with plenty of time to get to know each of these mariners personally and to share with them the meaning of Christianity. It’s in conversations like these that the Reserve chaplains and seafarers from all across the world build relationships that last, relationships that both parties remember the next time they come back to this part of the Mississippi. “It’s nice when we see a ship return that we haven’t seen in a year,” Roussel said. “We get to the ship and we see people we spent just 12 hours with and they remember us by name. It feels really good, and it really proves the value of what we’re doing here.”•


6 OPPOSITE PAGE: Two seafarers who visited our center recently pointing to their current location. 1: Pastor Roussel and wife, Madison Roussel, aboard with the captain and the others whom attended the church service. 2: Pastor Robert Roussel on a ship in 7 Reserve, Louisiana. 3: A group from a ship who requested bibles and bible study materials which Global Maritime Ministries supplied. 4: Pastor Roussel doing a bible study with a crew on their vessel 5: The captain from that group gathering bibles in Tagalog (a Filipino language), bible study materials and devotions. 6: Pastor Roussel’s wife, Madison Roussel, about to board a ship with her guitar as we were going have a church service on a ship in Geismar, Louisiana.

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A Mid-Stream Mission b y T op h er B alfer

C ooper Consolidate d innovates along t he M iss iss ipp i River


or most companies, the process of cargo transfer can be consuming of both time, resources and manpower: first, the ship bearing the cargo must carefully navigate alongside the dock and be secured before a shore crane can even begin unloading and moving cargo. However, this is not the case for Cooper Consolidated, LLC in the Port of South Louisiana, whose services span between Southwest Pass and Baton Rouge. Thanks to a company culture prioritizing innovation and customer service, Cooper has been able to refine the cargo transfer process with their 12 high speed, high capacity floating cranes and 12 deep-draft ship berths. Their assets extend through all sectors of the industry, including inland terminaling, stevedoring, warehousing, marine, trucking and rail. “Mid-Stream stevedoring is a segment of the marine cargo handling industry where cargo vessels come in and tie up to our ship buoys, and we bring our floating cranes alongside and transfer directly to or from barges,” said Billy Fitzpatrick, managing director of sales and logistics at Cooper Consolidated. With eight full service barge fleeting sites and three ship terminal sites between Belle Chasse and Baton Rouge, the company’s unique stevedoring assets have helped them to offer services that fill gaps in traditional midstream services and operations. These services are available 24/7, through every day of the year and in every weather and river condition that mother nature can throw at you. Fitzpatrick explained that this operating schedule is just one way that Cooper Consolidated has lived up to its business philosophy of embracing change and innovation for the sake of its customers. “We have a very customer-oriented culture 20

Spring 2018 | Port of South Louisiana

in that we try and solve their problems and be proactive,” Fitzpatrick said. “We want to form relationships with them to keep their business on a long-term basis. That’s of paramount importance to us.” Cooper Consolidated celebrated its 15th anniversary this past January, but its legacy stretches far past that. Its parent companies, Consolidated Grain & Barge and Cooper Stevedoring Company, were founded in 1969 and 1905 respectively. Consolidated Grain & Barge “operates a diverse family of businesses in the grain and marine transportation industries,” while Cooper/T. Smith Corporation is “one of America’s oldest and largest stevedoring and maritime related firms with operations on all three U.S. Coasts,” according to Fitzpatrick. The companies combined their Lower Mississippi River assets in an operating agreement to create Cooper Consolidated in 2003. Back in the 1970’s, Cooper Stevedoring was one of the pioneers of the midstream segment and today Cooper Consolidated carries on that mission. Cooper’s deep-draft ship berths and floating cranes are just some of the main assets that have put the company on the cutting edge, and Fitzpatrick said their services do not stop there. In addition to its core business of barge fleets and mid-stream stevedoring, Cooper offers full logistics services to its customers, helping them to manage and execute shipments from start to finish. One point of contact oversees the shipment, transfer, handling and storage of the cargo, as well as coordinating barge, rail and truck transportation to inland destinations. “Another unique asset we have is the grain elevator AMERICA, which transfers grain and grain by products directly from barge to vessel,” he said. “We also have the floating

transfer station LMO, which can transfer coal or pet coke directly from barge to vessel.” Fitzpatrick said that these asset innovations, along with any new territorial expansions, are made strategically and deliberately to benefit both the customers and the company. Change and innovation is a big part of our culture, and we try to be adaptable to different market conditions,” he said. One example of this is Cooper Consolidated’s start-up of new barge fleeting and ship berths in 2014 in Belle Chasse, which allowed the company to expand its ship operations. The new ship berths include one specifically designed to handle the larger, deep draft, next generation post panamax and cape size cargo vessels. However, Fitzpatrick noted that the company is careful not to expand to a point where customer service will ever falter. “The challenge is really to grow your business and services, but at the same time, don’t let your grasp overextend your reach,” Fitzpatrick said. “Growth for the sake of growth is not always wise. You need to be opportunistic and grow where the opportunities are. We’re very cognizant of staying within our capabilities and not making promises that we can’t keep.” This can be especially difficult for any company dealing not just with competition, but also with the ever-changing economic circumstances driving their business. But by innovating aptly and intelligently and by creating assets that the competitors do not possess, Fitzpatrick said Cooper Consolidated has established its mettle and set itself at the forefront of the industry. “We feel our people assets and equipment assets are the strongest in the industry,” he said. “We own and operate our own assets, and that gives our customers the most reliable and flexible service that can be achieved”. •


Home Is Where the Swamp Is B y T op h er B alfer

D ow lob b yist Tommy Faucheu x invests his time into impro ving e ducation and publ ic informat ion across L o u is iana

“It’s hard to get people to ever leave Louisiana.” Tommy Faucheux laughed at the truth of his statement as he recounted his family’s history: He is the product of families raising families in the River Parishes through several generations. Now, he is living with his own family in Luling, wondering if his children will go on to do the same. “It’s true,” he said after a moment of contemplation. “It’s hard to describe or pinpoint, but if you grow up here, or even if you move here, there’s an inherited love and respect for the community. I think a lot of people recognize, both here and around the world, that Louisiana is a special place.” For Tommy, that southern sense of community has shaped his education, his career, his faith and a personal dedication to giving back to the people that helped him. “It’s a part of me,” he said, and every piece of his life proves it to be true.


Spring 2018 | Port of South Louisiana

After growing up in St. Charles Parish and going through the public school system, Faucheux earned his bachelor’s degree in communication and political science from Loyola University New Orleans. He even kept up an internship with Dow Chemical Company during that time, gaining experience that would ultimately lead him to his current position. Upon graduating, Tommy found himself in a unique position to serve both the public school system and the government of St. Charles Parish, and to eventually marry the philosophies of both as Public Information Officer. The position solidified and enforced Tommy’s belief that the decisions he made in the present should simultaneously be laying the foundation for the future. “With education and public information, everything they do should be about public service,” Faucheux said. “And everything they do should be about improving quality

of life for residents and providing educational opportunities for children. By doing this through a public relations or government relations position, you make sure that those teams are working on their core mission and that they’re also staying in touch with the needs of their constituents.” Tommy was able to continue building on these values when he returned to Dow in 2007 as a public affairs manager. Now, he is their Southeast U.S. State Government Affairs Leader, managing state government and policy matters in relation to Dow’s corporate strategy. “I’ve worked in a handful of roles here, but this one is by far my favorite,” he said. “It allows me to stay in my community. I love working with people. I genuinely enjoy figuring out how organizations, community groups and companies work. I love finding ways to bring together different people and the resources of different organizations to improve the community and a situation.”

C O M PA N Y P R O F I L E Faucheux said that his position with Dow is uniquely special because his own beliefs align with those of the company, allowing simultaneous personal and professional growth. “From an ethics standpoint and from an integrity standpoint, the way I conduct my own life is also the way Dow acts as a corporate citizen, so that’s kind of the perfect marriage for me,” he said. “I love being with people, and I think some of my best days are when we can bring people together to solve a community need or problem and to make things better.” Tommy’s responsibilities have also allowed him to stay connected to the school system, which has always been important to him throughout his career — more so now that he is a parent. He said he wants to make sure his own children understand how much he values their education and hopes he can enrich that experience for them and other students along the way. “I get to spend time with some younger students now, and some of them are the same kids who were four or five years old at the church summer camp where I worked in high school,” he said. “To get to see them grow and hopefully share my belief that you should give back to your community is special as well.” As Dow’s lobbyist, Faucheux’s been able to represent the company and focus on issues that are of particular importance to him, like STEM education. “We need a science and math literate workforce, but it’s all going to start if we have public schools that offer them opportunities,” Faucheux said. His own father was a chemical plant operator, as well as both of his grandfathers, and Faucheux said that although he never expected to end up at a chemical company, those careers are “the bedrock of what our families were built on.” “Everything that I had coming out of college came from the men in my family who worked for the chemical industry. Those were the jobs that provided us those resources,” Faucheux said. “So seeing students have more opportunities to get into those fields is not only important for Dow, but it’s also important to families who were born and raised here who work in the industry.” Moving forward, Faucheux hopes to continue paying it forward to the community when he takes over as chairman of the Board of Directors of GNO, Inc. He will be the first from the River Parishes, and he will also be the youngest to ever serve as chairman. This is significant for him: He said one of his primary goals at GNO, Inc. will be to bridge the gap between the community’s current and future leaders. “I want to make sure that people my age and younger than me are going to be ready for the opportunities that will come to them,” Faucheux said. Wherever these next endeavors take him, one thing is certain: Tommy Faucheux will take them on with a personal motivation to give back to the community that raised him, and he will be armed with a smile and that special Louisiana charm he could never leave behind. •

Opposite Page LEFT: Congressman Garret Graves with the Faucheux family. Tommy, Mitzi, Camdyn & Cade. OPPOSITE PAGE TOP RIGHT: Faucheux moderates a River Region Chamber discussion with legislators regarding business policies OPPOSITE PAGE BOTTOM RIGHT: Faucheux discusses increasing businesses taxes with gubernatorial candidates. tOP: Gov. John Bel Edwards visits Dow Louisiana Operations Middle: Dow joins Senator Sharon Hewitt in recognizing FIRST robotics teams in Louisiana schools. BOTTOM LEFT: Faucheux welcomes guests to a ribbon cutting event for new plant investments in Louisiana. Bottom Right: Faucheux discuss energy conservation with Lakewood Elem. 5th graders in Luling.

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P O R Tr a i t s

Executive Director Paul Aucoin pictured here with Governor John Bel Edwards at the Statewide Economic Development Summit in Baton Rouge.

Port Legal Counsel Melissa Folse-Oubre (left) is pictured here with Elizabeth Smart. Ms. Smart was the guest speaker at the Louisiana Women Leaders Business Conference held in New Orleans.

Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional recently welcomed back executives of Marathon Petroleum. Marathon’s Garyville refinery is located less than a mile from the airport making this airport the most convenient choice.


Spring 2018 | Port of South Louisiana

Former Governor Edwin Edwards, son Eli and John Georges stop for a picture before departing at Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport.

P O R Tr a i t s

Port staff attended the 35th Annual Ports Association of Louisiana Conference held this year in Lake Charles. Pictured L-R: Deputy Director Roy Quezaire, Commissioner Judy Songy, Port Manager Vickie LewisClark, Chief Operating Officer Dale Hymel, Jr., Executive Director Paul Aucoin, Foreign Trade Zone Manager Lisa Braud, and Executive Assistant Patti Crockett.

A successful Pilots N Paws mission took place at the Port’s Executive Regional Airport recently when two dogs housed at local kill shelters were transported by volunteer pilot Owen Bordelon (2nd from right) safely to rescue organizations in Texas. Pictured: from left Vincent Caire , Port of South Louisiana; Jefferson Parish Animal Advisory member Ron Schulingkamp; Owen Bordelon , Pilot and Lisa Braud, Port of South Louisiana

Port Business Development Director Linda Prudhomme (center) visited with a group of Rotarians from New Zealand, a visit organized by the Rotary Club of LaPlace. They learned about the Port’s role in economic development for the region.

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P O R Tr a i t s

More photos from the regional economic development breakfast held in Washington D.C. Speakers included all members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation: except Congressman Steve Scalise, who’s still on the road to recovery. Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy and Congressmen Cedric Richmond, Garret Graves, Ralph Abraham, Clay Higgins, and Mike Johnson as well as Parish Presidents Natalie Robottom (St. John the Baptist Parish) and Timothy Roussel (St. James Parish), and Executive Director of Technology and Communication Anthony Ayo (St. Charles Parish). Paul Aucoin was the emcee.

Alex Hernandez, Port of South Louisiana Public Information Officer (center) is seen here with (L) Aidy Alonzo (Port of Palm Beach) and (R) Victoria Lucero (Port of Stockton) at the annual AAPA Public Relations Workshop in Mobile. (photo credit Port of Mobile)


Spring 2018 | Port of South Louisiana


Globalplex Intermodal Terminal address:

155 West 10th Street, Reserve, La. 70084 P.O. Box 909, LaPlace, La. 70069 p h o n e : 985-652-9278 fa x : 985-653-0798 e - m a i l : w e b : c o n ta c t ( s ) : Paul Aucoin, Executive Director; Roy Quezaire, Deputy Director l o c at i o n : River mile 138.5 e q u i p m e n t : Two Manitowoc 2250 rail-mounted gantry cranes; 100,000-pound capacity weighing scale for trucks; 100,000 square foot warehouse; 72,000-square-foot, and 40,000-square-foot transit shed; and a 177,000 square foot paved open storage pad d o c k : 204 ft. x 660 ft. with upstream and downstream mooring dolphins. allow for dockage of panamax size vessels; 700 ft x 65 ft finger pier general cargo operators associated terminals ph : 985-536-4520 mailing address:

Globalplex Bulk Dock mailing address:

P.O. Box 909, LaPlace, La. 70069 985-652-9278 fa x : 985-653-0798 e - m a i l : w e b : c o n tac t ( s ): Paul Aucoin, Executive Director; Roy Quezaire, Deputy Director l o c at i o n : River mile 138.5 f u n c t i o n : Transfer and store bulk, primarily cement fluorspar limestone and wood chips e q u i p m e n t : An 800 tons-per-hour continuous Carlsen ship unloader, a 1,800 tons-per-hour ship-loading system, 100,000 tons of cement storage in two storage domes, 70,000 tons of storage for flourspar in an A-frame building and approximately nine acres of paved open storage for wood chips and other products. d o c k :507’ x 44’ with upstream and downstream mooring buoys to allow for panamax-size vessels phone:

ADM Reserve address:

2032 La. Highway 44, Reserve, La. 70084 985-536-1151 fa x : 985-536-1152 w e b : c o n ta c t ( s ) : Mike Landry, generale manager of commercial operations l o c at i o n : River mile 139.2 f u n c t i o n : Grain export elevator. o t h e r : Fully automated phone:

Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport A d d r e s s : P.O. Box 909, La Place, La. 70069-0909 A d d r e s s : 355 Airport Road, Reserve, La. 70084 p h o n e : 985-652-9278 w e b : e m a i l : c o n ta c t : Vincent Caire, Airport Director l o c at i o n : N30° 05.25’, W30°34.97 mailing



Spring 2018 | Port of South Louisiana


Plains Marketing L.P. address:

6410 Plains Terminal Road, St. James, La. 70086 t e r m i n a l m a n a g e r : Craig Ellinwood p h o n e : 225-265-2353 fa x : 225-265-3171 w e b : l o c at i o n : Mile marker 158.6 f u n c t i o n : Storage of petroleum products.

SoLaPort West Bank industrial site acquired for development into an industrial park located adjacent to Dow in St. Charles Parish. c o n ta c t : phone:

Paul Aucoin (985) 652-9278

Pin Oak Terminals address:

4006 Highway 44 Mt. Airy, La. 70076 c o n ta c t : Danny Guidry p h o n e : 985-224-2038 fa x : 985-535-2634 w e b : l o c at i o n : Mile marker 144.1 f u n c t i o n : Storage of petroleum products.

PSL Westbank St. James c o n ta c t :

Paul Aucoin (985) 652-9278 Property acquired for development. phone:

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Spring 2018 | Port of South Louisiana

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Training Day


The Port of South Louisiana’s Marine Operations division works closely with the U.S. Coast Guard in training to prevent, prepare and respond to an emergency.


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Port Log Spring 2018  
Port Log Spring 2018