Executive Summary

The Louisiana International Gulf Transfer Terminal Authority

The LIGTT Authority and why was it Established

  • The Louisiana International Gulf Transfer Terminal Authority is an entity empowered to position Louisiana as an international hub for cargo ships and super-sized cargo ships.

  • The Authority was created by Act 699 of the Regular Session of the Louisiana State Legislature for two primary reasons.

  • First, Louisiana has to protect its millions of dollars in investments and the thousands of related jobs already established at its deep water ports on the Mississippi River as well as the other ports in the state.

  • Today, the average load on a ship is about 5,500 containers but with the natural progression of larger ships expected over the next few years resulting from the widening of the Panama Canal, studies have shown that the larger vessels will not be able to traverse the Southwest Pass due to deeper draft requirements resulting in a potential loss of revenue at our major deep water ports located on the Mississippi River and therefore jeopardizing Louisiana jobs and investments in the port.

  • The LIGTT Authority will set the stage for growing additional revenue for other Louisiana ports while creating an 34,000 new Louisiana jobs, a large portion of which is intended for Veterans.

  • Second, the LIGTT venue will be the centerpiece of an all-new, all-water supply chain connecting the world with the United States via the 14,500-mile waterway highway called the Mississippi River and its tributaries to the interior of the US where most of our nation’s exports are produced or grown and exported.  It is aligned with MARAD’s playbook which is to move more goods on our rivers while reducing the wear and tear on our nation’s highways.

LIGTT Project Goals

  • As container ships increase in size and require deeper drafts, it will become increasingly difficult to get through the Southwest Pass. The U.S. Corp of Engineers spends in excess of $100 million annually to maintain this important passageway connecting the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.

  • The Louisiana International Gulf Transfer Terminal (LIGTT) is a historic and game-changing project, which will create America's first deep water transfer terminal designed to handle containers, bulk cargo, and petroleum products entering and leaving the United States.

  • LIGTT’s goal is to establish the US’ first container, bulk cargo, and refined products transshipment transfer terminal, to be located near the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana.

  • The Trans modal container shipping terminal will be green built and with the latest technology allowing it to become the most efficient port in the world in terms of loading and unloading. The Port will introduce a new supply chain providing access to America’s heartland and introduces a more efficient way to import and export agricultural products, rubber, wood, paper, metals, consumer goods, chemicals and other commodities. The project will develop and implement a transportation system (oceanic, coastal and river) and a port solution that is:

    • Rapidly implemented

    • Cost effective

    • State-of-the-art

    • Sustainable

    • Environmentally sound

This project is very important for the United States, Louisiana and the Global Economy

  • U.S. participation in international trade has grown faster than the overall United States economy, quadrupling in real value since 1980. Approximately 1.7 billion tons of merchandise is estimated to be moving in and out of the country each year, totaling about $1.5 trillion in imported goods and services and $800 billion in exports.

  • Ports in the U. S. are struggling to expand capacity fast enough to keep pace with current and projected requirements for containerized throughput.

  • Numerous studies have shown that water transportation is less expensive than trucks and trains. However, it is anticipated that with an increase of imports and exports resulting from the LIGTT project, all modes of transportation, including trucks and trains, will become more efficient and profitable as their revenues increase.

  • Studies have estimated that container terminals are near capacity as a result of the imbalance between supply and demand. Further, ports are ill equipped to receive post-Panamax containerships, the use of such is an increasing trend reflected in current orders by shipping lines.

  • US infrastructure is rapidly decaying and its shipping capacity is in need of a dramatic expansion to create a hub-and-spoke system to transport goods to and from America’s heartland via the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

  • In the very near future, most US ports will not be able to handle the larger, more efficient and environmentally friendly shipping vessels that will launch through the expanded Panama Canal. Some of these larger, super-vessels are currently in operation.

  • The Global Marine and Container Terminal Operation industry has experienced strong growth as domestic economies have rebounded from the financial crisis.

  • According to UK-based shipping consultant Drewry Maritime Equity Research, global container trade will grow by 4.7% in 2014 reaching 684 million TEU’s by the end of the year.

  • The impacts of the LIGTT facility will extend throughout the interior of the United States, reaching 33 states along the 14,500 miles of the Mississippi River and its tributaries as well as ports along the northern Gulf of Mexico, Mexico and throughout the Caribbean.

  • Market growth is strongly correlated to economic growth and regional/national GDP serves as the best indicator of future container volumes.

  • This project will help the US in the Post-Panamex era by enabling the utilization and nation to handle the larger ships of tomorrow while increasing the utilization and efficiency of our extensive inland waterway system.

  • With an increase of imports and exports resulting from the LIGTT project, all modes of transportation, including trucks and trains, will become more efficient and profitable as their revenues increase.