RESERVE, La. (press release) — Port of South Louisiana CEO Paul Matthews celebrates the enactment of Act 551 by Senator Gary Smith, Jr., which aims to address supply chain and traffic issues. Governor Edwards signed the Act on June 17, which allows for the permitting of a single truck driver to haul two containers both headed to a port or to pick-up two containers from a port and take to their destinations.
“From baby formula to fuel, our nation is struggling to get goods to American families. As America’s leading grain exporter, a top energy transfer port and one of the Western Hemisphere’s largest tonnage ports, the Port of South Louisiana is ground zero for getting those goods and products from point A to point B in the most efficient manner,” said Matthews. “Sen. Smith’s legislation is the product of our region’s ports working together to find for consumers and commuters every single day. We’re grateful for his leadership and our entire legislative delegation’s support in getting this across the goal line.”
Experts believe there is a shortage of 80,000 truck drivers in the country, contributing to supply chain delays and increased pricing. As east and west coast ports are seeing heavy congestion and vessel back-ups, Louisiana ports have the opportunity to establish themselves as a transportation innovator across the United States.
Act 551 reduces congestion by cutting the number of truck cabs inside of the port, and has the potential to attract further business to Louisiana ports and away from west and east coast ports by establishing a system that increases loading and unloading efficiency and decreases shipper transportation costs and delays.
“With my district being home to the Port of South Louisiana, I took special interest in meeting with Port officials, marine terminal operators, truckers and ocean carrier customers on developing innovative solutions to alleviate the current bottlenecks and delays,” said Sen. Smith. “I am proud to have authored this successful legislation that will address some of the logistical issues here in Louisiana and unleash our state to lead the way on innovative methods to make commerce more efficient.”