Louisiana Ports Shutdown May Impact Agriculture Exports – Transport Topics Online


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The Port Of latest Orleans, the Port of Baton Rouge and the Port of South Louisiana Aren’t The Most very important amenities Inside the nation, however They’re Amongst The numerous most important When it Includes delivery grain commodities worldwide, particularly soybean and corn.

Hurricane Ida barreled into the Louisiana coast Aug. 29, packing winds extra extremely effective than Hurricane Katrina and a “catastrophic” storm surge that left New Orleans with out power and dealing with mass flooding and destruction. Katrina struck 16 years to the day earlier, leaving an estimated $108 billion in damage in its wake.

With the Louisiana port amenities shut down, many Inside the agriculture enterprise are taking a wait-and-see strategy as to how prolonged They will stay closed.


“Anytime Tright here is an exact disruption of transportation out of the Mississippi Gulf area, it deserves consideration from our enterprise,” said Mike Steenhoek, authorities director of the Soy Transportation Coalition. “Sixty-one % of U.S. soybean exports and 58% of corn exports depart from export amenities aprolongedside the decrease Mississippi River Inside The mannequin new Orleans space. It’s definitely some Sort of concern.”

The Soy Transport Coalition, based mostly in Des Moines, Iowa, is made up of 13 state soybean boards, the American Soybean Affiliation and the United Soybean Board. The states recurrented on the board account for 85% of complete U.S. soybean manufacturing. The coalition’s objective is to place the soybean producers To revenue from An economical, reliable, and aggressive transportation system.

Steenhoek said restoring power to the area, which some specialists say might take weeks, and accessing the damage Launched on by the hurricane are The very biggest priorities Inside the agriculture group. He said some soybeans and corn might shift briefly to the Port of Oakland and Seattle/Tacoma, Wash., wright hereas the damage in Louisiana is repaired.

When these ports reopen Is notably important to farmers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, As properly as to completely different states that border the Mississippi River and ship lots of of hundreds of tons of dry bulk commodities down The two,320-mile waterway on barges.

Including to the problem for the agriculture and trucking communities is that farmers nationwide are Inside the midst of harvest time, And a few fear the probably delays at these southern Louisiana amenities will set off further againups in an already overtaxed current chain.

The timing Isn’t good. It is harvest season. Everyone seems to be gearing up for that, and right here in Iowa, We’re anticipating a bumper crop.

Iowa Motor Truck Affiliation President Brenda Neville

“We’ve been watching it very intently as a Outcome of That is An important space for truckers,” Iowa Motor Truck Affiliation President Brenda Neville informed Transport Subjects. “The timing Isn’t good. It is harvest season. Everyone seems to be gearing up for that, and right here in Iowa, We’re anticipating a bumper crop. Especially Inside the central An factor of the state, we might have some very strong yields.”

Based on the U.S. Division of Agriculture, corn is The Most very important export crop in Iowa, and soybeans rank third. Simply from Iowa, The 2 crops are Responsible for Greater than $1.5 billion in exports, and soybeans are the quickest-rising export crop from that state. 

Port Of latest Orleans officers said The power would stay closed for an indefinite interval.

“Port NOLA crews are assessing Hurricane Ida impacts. Preliminary reviews level out no primary damage to our amenities. We are coordinating with navigation companions As properly as to native and state officers so We will resume operation safely and as shortly as potential,” a port assertion said.

With Ida strategying Louisiana on Aug. 28, the U.S. Coast Guard closed the decrease Mississippi River to all vessel visitors, And Tright here Is not any indication when It is going to reopen.

IHS Markit Transportation Economist Paul Bingham informed TT restoring The facility On the port is essential. Nonetheless, completely different problems aprolongedside the Mississippi River Referring to the storm might sluggish the circulate of agriculture exports.

“It’s the connectivity on the vans and rail. It’s the road community. It’s storage amenities that feed that, the barge operations Which have been disrupted, and the channel clearance factors,” Bingham said. “That takes A quick time, And typically, the port terminal operations are again in operation earlier than that. I don’t assume It is going to final two weeks, However it’s going to be disruptive.”

I don’t assume [the ports shutdown] will final two weeks, However it’s going to be disruptive.

Paul Bingham, transportation economist for IHS Markit

Bingham furtherly said ancompletely different essential problem is the climate in September, and It Is not unusual for the Gulf Coast to expertise a quantity of hurricanes.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Soy Transportation Coalition’s Steenhoek said, port officers did A great job upgrading the amenities to make them extra storm resilient, Which might pay dividends Inside the aftermath of this storm.

“Sometimes Tright here is A pretty quick restoration They typically can resume operations shortly after the hurricane passes,” he said, “and we’re hopeful Which Could Even be the case right here.”

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