Plans have been put in motion to develop a new intermodal container terminal on the lower Mississippi River.
Designed to service the largest ocean carriers, the new 1,000 acre container terminal will be capable of docking vessels up to 20,000 TEU with deep-water access and 21,600 linear feet of waterfront allow for multiple ocean and APCT vessels to be accommodated simultaneously.
The container port, located between mile 50 and 55 on the Mississippi River
, will be the southern-most full service port complex on the river, providing full intermodal service via river, rail, highway and air to and from the heartland of America. The 4,200 acre port will include a $8.5 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) re-liquefaction facility and a break bulk terminal.
Plans for the container terminal were announced by Plaquemines Port Harbor & Terminal District (PPHTD) and American Patriot Holdings LLC (APH), who will develop the Plaquemines Port’s wide expanse of land as well as an inland vessel designed by APH subsidiary American Patriot Container Transport LLC’s (APCT) that will be used to deliver containers to and from ports on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.
Entering into an “Exclusivity Agreement” PPHTD and APH plan to jointly develop the logistics system for vessel operations comprised of both deep-water docking at the Pointe Céleste Container Terminal and multiple upriver terminals, initially planned for the Memphis and St. Louis areas.
“We’re building a new, modern technology port from the ground up where berthing depths exceed 60 feet and with the capability to accommodate the larger Post-Panamax vessels coming through the widened and deepened Panama Canal,” said Sandy Sanders, Executive Director of Plaquemines Port.
“Containers imported to the Plaquemines Port would be transferred to APCT’s revolutionary vessels for delivery to their upriver port destination. Export containers will be efficiently delivered from upriver ports to the Plaquemines Port for export on ocean carriers. Beneficial Cargo Owners and Ocean Carriers alike should look at the planned port as a solution to their logistic problems and the high intermodal costs that plague them today. Cargo flows through the most efficient economical route and our plans are to provide shorter dwell times, lowest cost, with fast and reliable routes,” Sanders added.
Sal Litrico, CEO of American Patriot Container Transport LLC, said, “Our team looks forward to meeting with shippers and ocean carriers to discuss their present day logistic and cost concerns, and how our system can be planned to optimize their business logistic efficiencies.”
“The port has been working very hard on a diversity of projects which will amount to creating quality jobs and increasing the tax base for our parish,” said Port Chairman Beau Black. “APH’s revolutionary container vessels fit right into our plan to make Plaquemines Port as diversified as possible. By finally taking advantage of the Mississippi River, our Port will allow shippers to fully benefit from the lowest cost mode of transportation and relieve this development from having an adverse impact on vehicular and rail traffic.”
“We are moving in the right direction entering the container markets, which will aid in diversifying our economy,” said Plaquemines Parish President Amos Cormier. “So much of our economy is dependent on oil and gas
. We believe container transportation will be ever increasing in the global economy with the expansion of the Panama Canal.”
APH, in conjunction with its naval architect, Naviform Consulting & Research Ltd., (NAVIFORM) developed the proprietary and patent-pending design, which aims to revolutionize how containers are moved on inland waterways. The patented Exoskeleton Vessel Hull Structure maximizes container payload, and the patented bow design enables the vessels to travel at 13 mph north and southbound with essentially no wake. APH, who has exclusive rights for use of the design and an exclusive licensing agreement on the patents, said it believes the application of this technology will have worldwide appeal.
The propulsion system consists of four diesel generators, driving four azimuthing thrusters (Z-Drive) and two bow pumps, burning LNG fuel. Together, the main propulsion thrusters and the bow pumps eliminate the need for docking/undocking assist tugs, saving substantial time and expense. The container vessel designs range from 592 ft. to 952 ft. in overall length, with corresponding Deadweight (LT) of 9,489 to16,079, and TEU capacities of 1,824 to 2,960 at a draft of 9’ in fresh water.
APCT expects upriver round trips from the Pointe Céleste Terminal will take seven days to Memphis and 11 days to St. Louis. The vessels will be outfitted with substantial electrical capacity for reefer cargoes.
“The planned logistic system will increase U.S. economic competitiveness by adding cost effective and reliable transportation capacity, provide long term logistic viability, support, reduce heavy road traffic, reduce greenhouse gases, reduce hazardous material transport through populated areas and provide jobs for skilled mariners and U.S. shipyards,” Litrico said.
The management team of APCT includes, Joseph (Joe) P. Gehegan, former CEO of U.S. Shipping Corp, Robert (Bob) W. McCormack former Global Vice-President of Marine Commercial and Business Development for a major oil company, and Salvatore (Sal) Litrico former CEO of United Maritime Group.
PPHTD and APH recently completed a “Pre-Feasibility Report” and determined the new logistic system offered a sufficient value proposition to attract customers. The business case is being presented to investors, terminal operators and other potential stakeholders to advance to the “Bankable Feasibility” stage. PPHTD and APCT have commenced discussions with BCO’s, ocean carriers and terminal operators to advance the project.