The Port of New Orleans, administered by the Board of Commissioners
of the Port of New Orleans, a State agency, has a total water frontage,
including river and lakes, of 133 miles. Of this, 50 miles is on the Missis
sippi and ii miles on the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal. The wharf
system of New Orleans proper extends about 10 miles along the river-front
from the Public Coal and Bulk Commodity Handling Plant to the
Chalmette Slip. Approximately 6 miles of steel transit sheds, one stretch
of which is more than 2 miles in length, are served by wharves, which,
being parallel to the river, enable ships to dock without the assistance of
tugboats. The wharves, concrete for the most part, rest on wooden piles;
the sheds are constructed of steel framework with galvanized corrugated
steel walls. Numerous fire walls make the quay system exceptionally
fireproof. The standard width of the wharf-apron is 20 to 30 feet; of the
sheds 200 feet; and of the concrete roadway in the rear 30 feet. The
Public Belt Railroad services the sheds, while shipside tracks have been
provided where needed.
Administration of the port is invested in the Board of Commissioners,
consisting of five citizens appointed by the Governor and serving without
pay for six-year terms. A general manager, who has active charge of all
administration, is selected by the Board. Self-sustaining and without
taxing power, the duties and privileges of the Board are: to regulate
commerce and traffic of the port and harbor, and to take charge of and
administer the wharves and public landings; to construct new wharves
and sheds, and place and keep same in good condition; to maintain suf
ficient depth of water and to provide for lighting and policing; to collect
fees from vessels using harbor and facilities, and to purchase and ap
propriate wharves and landings where necessary. All facilities are open
on equal conditions to all shippers, and charges made against ships are
based on gross cargo tonnage discharged or received.
Ninety steamship lines, two barge lines, and nine trunk railroad lines
make use of the harbor. Warehouse facilities consist of 24 public ware
houses for general use, 2 public cold-storage plants, 9 private cotton
warehouses, and 5 railroad cotton warehouses. Wharves of various kinds
and sizes are maintained by 28 industrial plants on the west bank and 18
on the east bank of the river.
The State controls 43 docks, the value of which, including equipment,
amounts to $53,000,000. Chief among the port facilities are the 6 dry-
docks, the largest of which can accommodate ships up to 15,000 tons.
Ten fuel oil companies operate in the harbor, each with private wharves.
Bulk vegetable oil equipment, grain elevators, and a bulk loading plant
are other major facilities. Sugar, bananas, and coffee are taken care of
by special equipment.
The Erato, Desire, and Pauline Street Wharves are equipped with a total
of 14 automatic pocket unloaders for the handling of bananas, each with
an unloading capacity of 2500 bunches per hour. The normal movement
of bananas through the port is 23,000,000 stems per year.
The Mississippi River
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