New Orleans Cold Storage (NOCS) opened a new 142,000 square-foot terminal in Port of New Orleans on Thursday.
The company, which said it's the oldest cold storage company in North America, supplies storage to exporters of products such as poultry, beef, and pork.
On hand to dedicate the new $40.3 million facility were Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and port's board of commissioners.
Gov. Jindal called the facility “a symbol of the resilience of the city of New Orleans and Louisiana. The project shows that we may have been knocked down by Hurricane Katrina, but we were committed to getting up and rebuilding better than before.”
NOCS operates four facilities with more than 12 million cubic feet of refrigerated space in New Orleans, Houston and Charleston, S.C.
Following Hurricane Katrina, the congressional closure of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet hindered the company’s ability to operate on the Industrial Canal and its future in New Orleans was in doubt. Jindal said NOCS was recruited by other states, but stayed in New Orleans.
“We have reached the end of a long road traveled since Hurricane Katrina, and we are poised for growth. The storm and subsequent closing of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet made it uncertain whether we could keep operations in New Orleans open,” said NOCS President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Blanchard. “But with the help of the state and the Port of New Orleans, we are expanding by opening our new, state-of-the-art terminal at the Henry Clay Street Wharf.”
The new Henry Clay facility can store 38 million pounds of perishable products and freeze up to 1.25 million pounds of fresh product each day. Operations at the new terminal include blast freezing, handling, warehousing and stevedoring.
“We knew we had to build this terminal to retain cargo that is essential to the health of the Port of New Orleans,” said Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange. “But this new terminal represents so much more than simply replicating the capacity we lost to Katrina. We’ve built stronger and smarter. Our investment will allow the Port of New Orleans and NOCS to grow its cargo volumes and offer unparalleled services to shippers.”
The warehouse incorporates energy-saving technology and state-of-the-art operational efficiencies. - Chris Dupin