In 2012, total general cargo tonnage at the Port of New Orleans rose 8.6 percent year-over-year to 7.55 million tons, marking the third straight year of tonnage gains.
The general cargo increase was driven by a more than 38 percent surge in imported steel, amid other breakbulk cargo gains. The port imported more than 1.92 million tons of steel in 2012, compared with 1.39 million tons in 2011. Other top performing commodities included chemical exports, which rose 5.4 percent to 1.75 million tons, as well as poultry and other agriculture exports, which improved by 22.8 percent to 496,000 tons.
Meanwhile, containerized cargo was flat year-over-year, increasing only 38 tons from 2011’s 4.11 million tons, while total 20-foot-equivalent units in 2012 fell by 2.9 percent to 463,147 TEUs from 477,363 TEUs in 2011.