Logistics: Constant State Of Change

Massive disruptions to global supply chains during the pandemic have forced the logistics sector to rapidly adapt, with manufacturers moving their supplier networks closer to home.

The combination of various forms of transportation with warehousing capabilities and specialized material handling equipment supports Oswego County’s stance as a true multimodal location. It’s a large reason why multi-national companies such as Novelis, Felix Schoeller, Huhtamaki, EJ USA, The Fulton Companies, K&N’s Foods and Multi-Color Corporation have invested over $700 million in Oswego County over the past decade.

For more information about how Oswego County could meet your business’ logistical needs, contact L. Michael Treadwell, Executive Director of Operation Oswego County, Inc., at (315) 343-1545 or ooc@oswegocounty.org.


Port Freeport currently ranks 6th in chemicals, 15th in total foreign waterborne tonnage and 26th in containers among U.S. ports. Port Freeport is a deep-water port that rests on the Texas Gulf Coast, only three miles from the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Port Freeport offers an abundance of acreage for development with more than 500 acres mitigated and shovel ready. Port Freeport was established in 1925 when the voters of Brazoria County, Texas, recognized the importance of having a reliable waterway to move commerce. A six-member commission governs the port. The 46-foot-deep Freeport Harbor Channel serves public and private operating berths.

supply chain
The Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project and expansion of Velasco Terminal, two of Port Freeport’s 
strategic initiatives, underway while vessel operations simultaneously continue. (Photo: Port Freeport)

During the past five years, Port Freeport has experienced exponential growth and is taking strategic initiatives to maintain that growth and provide the surrounding community with jobs and economic benefits. One of these initiatives includes a deepening and partial widening project to increase the harbor channel from its current 46 feet to depths ranging from 51 to 56 feet mean lower low water. Dredging on the Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project began in April 2021 and is expected to take five years to complete. Providing nationwide total economic outputs of nearly $150 billion a year, Port Freeport is clearly demonstrating that its strategic initiatives are paying big dividends. As further terminal expansions and a deeper, wider ship channel advance, Port Freeport is purposefully building upon its impressive contributions to economic wellbeing near and far. Within Texas alone, Port Freeport was responsible for 150,561 jobs, producing $9 billion in income, while generating economic output of $98.8 billion in 2017, according to a 2019 study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The statewide impact figure is more than double that calculated in a similar analysis just five years earlier. The most recent report puts Port Freeport’s nationwide impact at $149 billion, with the port supporting 279,783 U.S. jobs.

Port Freeport serves its customers and stakeholders through development and marketing of a competitive world-class facility, technically advanced marine and multimodal terminal services and port-related industrial facilities.

Port Freeport offers customers first-class, state-of-the-art infrastructure. Port Freeport’s container handling terminal with two Post-Panamax gantry cranes was completed in 2014. Expansion of the terminal began in 2020 and features 927 feet of berth extension, and will accommodate two additional Post-Panamax gantry cranes. Work on the Velasco Container Terminal expansion is slated to be completed in 2022. A new storage and processing terminal for automobiles was established in 2015, and the Port’s project cargo terminal has continuously served the petrochemical industry through construction and expansions in the surrounding areas. In 2019, the Port completed the first phase of its first major rail project. The project at its full buildout will include a 200-acre multimodal industrial park, which will feature new rail lines, environmentally friendly vehicle storage and processing centers, as well as warehouse and distribution centers.

Public and private docks combined to handle more than 1,130 ships in 2020, a 10.3 percent increase over 2019. Private facilities along the channel include petrochemical and energy industry leaders such as The Dow Chemical Co., Enterprise Products Partners L.P., Freeport LNG and Phillips 66. Approximately 30.1 million tons of cargo are transported annually via the port’s public and private docks, and vessel calls are forecasted to increase with completion of improvement projects such as the ship channel project and container terminal expansion. Additionally, the port’s proximity to the Permian Basin and the pipelines being built to deliver West Texas crude to the Gulf Coast puts it in prime position to facilitate additional energy exports. International shipping lines calling the public facilities have increased roll-on/roll-off cargos substantially.

These terminals, combined with a sophisticated state highway system, railroad connectivity and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, allow users of Port Freeport seamless connectivity between various modes of transportation for their supply chain.

Port Freeport is staying on very solid financial ground. The port continues to garner excellent ratings from Standard & Poor’s, and each year for more than three decades has been recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFAO) for excellence in financial reporting. Port Freeport continues to excel on environmental and community fronts as well.

Environmental stewardship is a critical aspect of every Port Freeport undertaking, and Tenaris and transport partner Jetco Delivery are acknowledged for their use of the heavyweight truck corridor, significantly reducing potential vehicle emissions. Port Freeport is proud to be a fast-growing Texas port and leading economic catalyst for the Texas Gulf Coast and the State of Texas. Under the insightful guidance of the Port Freeport Commission, the port, in collaboration with its broad spectrum of stakeholders, confidently looks forward to still greater accomplishments, furthering its position as the region’s backbone of socioeconomic prosperity for generations to come.

For more information about Port Freeport, please visit www.portfreeport.com or call (800) 362-5743.


More than a year ago, Southwest Louisiana was rocked by Hurricanes Laura and Delta. Those weather events amplified the physical and economic pain that already existed due to COVID-19. Then in 2021, the five parish region (Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jeff Davis parishes) had to manage a damaging winter storm and historic rains which caused flooding.

Today, the community is moving forward in a way that should convince business leaders, investors and site selectors to strongly consider the area.

Blades used for turbines are placed on a ship at the Port of Lake Charles. (Photo: SWLA Economic Development Alliance)

“First, our people are tough, smart and reliable workers. Every time troubles are put in our way, community members adjust, recover and open up business operations. That is what we do,” said Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance President/CEO George Swift. “Second, the resources we have in regards to shipping and receiving enable any business to compete with competitors all over the world. Lastly, governmental officials and facility managers work well to restart operations after incidents.”

The region is the most prosperous small market MSA in the country due to over $100 billion in industrial and commercial investment. A key to Southwest Louisiana’s economic success has been the ability of companies located here to efficiently import and export goods by way of water, air, rail and pipelines. Logistics is a topic that Southwest Louisiana leaders are versed in.

Water: The Port of Lake Charles is a global connection for industrial, energy and agricultural products, as well as breakbulk and specialty cargoes of all shapes and sizes. It’s the 11th-busiest port district in the nation, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers statistics on waterborne tonnage.

The Port of Lake Charles is accessible 30 miles inland via the Calcasieu Ship Channel. It anchors “America’s Energy Corridor,” serving the petrochemical, LNG and wind-power industries.

The Port’s cargo facilities are the centerpiece of a 5,400-acre site. The property is largely anchored on and around the Calcasieu Ship Channel, which is regularly dredged to handle the most demanding shipping requirements. The port’s on-site rail service and near-immediate interstate highway access also keep cargo coming and going smoothly.

Cargo is the Port of Lake Charles’ core business. The cargoes include the huge, precision-crafted blades used for wind turbines. The blades are the key components of energy-generating windmills that are an emerging form of renewable energy. The Port has handled more than 1,500 such blades, illustrating the trust placed in the port by the world’s shippers. It also handles the tower segments that hold the blades aloft.

Other cargoes include specialty goods of all weights and dimensions—ranging from lumber, to transformers, to barite.

“Legacy cargoes” such as rice and lumber are still important in new ways, as the Port looks to move both milled and rough (unmilled) rice, as well as forest products—both to and from Southwest Louisiana.

Executive Director Richert L. Self, appointed in 2020, leads a new-look leadership team whose initiatives include shore power and modernized warehousing. For more on the Port of Lake Charles, visit portlc.com.

Other marine facilities of interest include Cameron Parish Port, Harbor and Terminal District, West Calcasieu Port, Port of Vinton, Mermentau River Harbor and Terminal District.

Chennault International Airport’s administrative office. (Photo: SWLA Economic Development Alliance)

Air: Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles is expanding its capacity for logistics in a significant way—specifically, by entering the air cargo sector. Chennault is building a $4 million, 10,000-square-foot warehouse in order to land an air cargo tenant partner. The intended result is an air cargo pass-through facility which is anticipated to be certified for international cargo by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“With the construction of the airport’s new air cargo facility, we anticipate enhanced opportunities for air cargo operators,” said Executive Director Kevin Melton.

“Chennault offers air cargo movements with uncongested airspace and ramp space—which results in efficiencies that busier airports cannot offer,” Melton added.

The new focus on logistics is part of Chennault’s larger vision.

“Chennault continues to focus on development and capital reinvestment to grow the airport’s positive economic impacts to the region,” Melton said. “With other projects such as Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries (new center), development of manufacturing and office space and Louisiana National Guard (new readiness center), Chennault continues to be a staple for logistics and economic development.”

Lake Charles Regional Airport serves as the gateway to regional travelers. American Airlines and United Airlines are the local carriers. The airport is home to a 159-acre Louisiana Economic Development Certified Suite that is shovel ready for development.

Lake Charles Regional Airport is currently undergoing a transformation following Hurricane Laura, which will see many great enhancements that will further LCH’s future resiliency, including new hangars and a new state of the art general aviation terminal. Find out more at www.flylakecharles.com. Other facilities of interest include Beauregard Regional Airport and Allen Parish Regional Airport.

Land: Interstates, rail and pipeline access are plentiful in southwest Louisiana. The region’s land-based logistics support is backed by Interstate 10, Interstate 210, United States 90, United States 165 and United States 171. Rail services are provided by Kansas City Southern and Union Pacific railroads and an extensive pipeline is used to transport product all over the country.

For more information about the region’s logistic assets, contact the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance/Chamber SWLA at (337) 433-3632, or visit www.allianceswla.org.

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