You don't have Macromedia Flash Player installed.
This content requires the Macromedia Flash Player.
ways leading toward Houma, Lockport and Galiano, as well as Pascacoula in the other direction, saying "help wanted." FEMA is cited as one of the early competitors for labor "paying significantly more per hour than we did," according to Ron Schnoor, Senior Vice President of Signal International. The Port of New Orleans itself issued a call for truck drivers in behalf of the Louisiana Motor Transport Association last November, citing a post-Katrina drop from 1000 to 150. Even today, a sign in a Taco Bell window near Dolphin Towing's office promises "up to $10.00 per hour," or about what an apprentice welder made in a shipyard before Katrina. The maritime employers are pursuing their interests in the sincerest form, with money. At some yards there have been three pay raises since the storm, at Harvey Gulf they cite five. Newspaper accounts describe a halfpopulated New Orleans, but you wouldn't know from the traffic. The cars, certainly, are back. "A lot of people have moved to homes in outlying districts," said one state representative, "but they're still coming into the city for their usual purposes." Watching them revel on Bourbon Street, there was no evidence that they were thinking about their relationship to the Port of New Orleans. It's why they were there, very indirectly, or anyway the port is why New Orleans was first built. Theirs is a partnership now, as New Orleans has been designated homeport to NCL cruise ships like the Norwegian Sun, on her maiden arrival on October 15. She tied-up at the new $37-million Erato Street passenger ship terminal, bringing a cargo of tourists that would interact directly with the city's inhabitants. Surprisingly, the port's cargo throughput during the year following Katrina exceeded the year previous. It's a surprise because, besides all the clearing-up and rebuilding required, Maersk Sealand left town for the duration. Three gantry cranes at France Road on the Industrial Canal await demolition, last year's wind having driven one along its track into another, then the two into a third. In September, however, Maersk Expreso, with lines to Central and South America, announced it would return one of their weekly services to New Orleans The permanent loss to the port seems mostly limited to a rail line and its floats to Mexico, for which facilities could not be found on the east side of the river. While the container operations have been ramping back up, the redeeming factor for the Port of New Orleans has been an increase in break bulk shipments, notably steel coming in. Over at New Orleans Cold Storage on the Industrial Canal, we watched the Mulungisi being Superstructure and hull section together take form for the first of ten OSVs being built at Bollinger's for Rigdon, as she appeared at the Larose yard in mid-October. (Photo: Don Sutherland) November, 2006 · MarineNews · 27