Plaquemines Parish Port
Plaquemines Parish Port is a logistical distribution center on Mississippi River. Because of its strategic location, the harbor enables water access to 33 states, and it also happens to be an inter-modal facility. There is rail, interstate highway and barge access to the available facilities.
Plaquemines Parish Port in Numbers
Energy Louisiana statistics for 2006 suggest that Plaquemines Port has serviced overall gross annual tonnage of 61,899,142 tons. The cargo volume has grown since then.
During the same year, the port generated revenue of 1.83 million dollars.
In 2008, the total shipping tonnage went up to 63.7 million tons. Of these, 35.8 million tons consisted of domestic cargo.
The overall annual tonnage registered a decline in 2013 when the amount was 53.44 million tons. The revenue generated by the harbor, however, went up and it reached 5.155 million dollars.
Based on this information, Plaquemines has been ranked as the 13th busiest harbor on the basis of cargo volume out of 150 facilities in the country.
Some of the most prominent cargo types to go through the port include coke, carbon black field stock, gasoline, oil, natural gas, petroleum products, cobalt, and nickel as far as inbound traffic goes. Outbound cargo consists of grain corn, wheat, soybean, and coal.
Port Terminals and Facilities
There’s one main channel with a depth of 55 feet. It stretches from the US Gulf of Mexico to mile 81.7 above Head of Passes.
A few of the other prominent facilities include the following: cargo and nickel breakbulk, a breakbulk crane, loading docks, private cargo berths, an electric mast and boom derrick, pipeline loading arms and direct access to rail and highway loading facilities.
Customers are given access to various additional services on top of the primary facilities. These include:
- Shipping traffic monitoring
- Cargo handling
- Emergency assistance
- Collision prevention services
- Search and rescue operations
- Policing of the river
It’s easy to see that the port ranks among the largest and the busiest in the US. The strategic location at the mouth of Mississippi River enables direct access to the Gulf of Mexico near Belle Chasse.
Plaquemines Harbor and Water Transportation Safety
The strategic location and the specifics of cargo transportation have contributed to multiple accidents over the years.
One of the newest occurrences took place in January 2016. On January 21, 22 barges broke free near West Point in Plaquemines Parish. They caused a couple of collisions, damaging three deep-draft ships. The river had to be closed to give Coast Guard an opportunity to control the situation.
Nobody was injured in the accident.
In 2008, a barge spilled approximately 420,000 gallons of industrial fuel in Mississippi River, close to the harbor. The spill affected nearly 98 miles of one of the busiest waterways in the US. It was the result of a collision between a barge carrying the fuel and a tanker.
A barge explosion occurred close to Plaquemine in 2007. A section of the oil barge’s deck was blown off. The good news is that the barge, as well as two other vessels nearby, were empty at the time of the accident.
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