NOLA Tops Logistics List, San Jose Leading IT Hub
In BF’s 2013 Metro Rankings Report

The Port of New Orleans, at the center of the world’s busiest port complex, took first place in Business Facilities’ Logistics Leaders (Ports) ranking in the magazine’s 2013 Metro Rankings Report.

NOLA was followed by Newport News (VA), Baltimore and Philadelphia, respectively, in the annual logistics assessment from BF, a national publication focused on site selection and economic development.

Memphis, home to the global hub for FedEx, continued to command the top spot in BF‘s Logistics Leaders (Air Cargo Hubs) metro ranking. Anchorage, AK held onto second place, followed by Louisville, KY, the North American hub for UPS.

“With its proximity to the center of the U.S. via a 14,500-mile inland waterway system, six Class One railroads and a nexus of interstate highways, New Orleans is the port of choice for the movement of everything from steel, rubber and manufactured goods to commodities like coffee,” said Editor in Chief Jack Rogers.

In 2012, the Port of New Orleans completed more than $100 million in new infrastructure projects port-wide in order to grow its facilities to handle rising trade volumes tied to the Panama Canal expansion. Two new post-Panamax gantry cranes able to reach across 19 container widths went to work, along with a new 40,000-square-foot Riverfront Cold Storage Facility and expanded and improved marshaling yards at several wharfs.

Also in 2012, Gov. Bobby Jindal cut the ribbon on a $36.4-million investment in the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal, which added two new gantry cranes and 4.5 acres of container marshaling yard—-bringing the terminal’s capacity to 640,000 TEU units per year.

“We’ve grown our container volumes significantly over the last few years by focusing on the needs of the shippers and by making smart investments in our capacity,” Gary P. LaGrange, President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans, told BF in a recent interview. “We’re proud of what we have accomplished, but know that we will have to continue to work hard to reach our goal of handling 1 million containers per year at the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal.”

“We’re impressed with the state’s commitment to its premier port,” Rogers said, noting that Louisiana recently modified its tax incentives to expand their coverage to include warehousing and storage, port operations, marine cargo handling, ship building and repairs, and oil and gas activities.

San Jose, CA, San Francisco and New Orleans took the top three places, respectively, in BF‘s new Information Technology Employment Leaders metro ranking.

The Crescent City continues to grow as a leading IT/software development hub. In 2012, GE Capital announced that it would locate its new GE Capital Technology Center in New Orleans to provide software development and IT support for the company’s financial services business.

Louisiana Economic Development crafted a customized incentive package for the GE deal, including a $107-million performance grant and $500,000 per year for 10 years to fund enhanced software development curricula at NOLA’s institutions of higher education.

“NOLA’s success in attracting GE’s IT Center of Excellence and Louisiana’s commitment to back this growth sector with an innovative partnership between business and higher education gives us confidence that New Orleans will be a national leader in IT for years to come,” Rogers said.

The complete results of Business Facilities’ 9th Annual Rankings Report will be posted on the BF website on August 5. The results also will be featured in the cover story of BF‘s July/August issue.