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CASE STUDY - Bulk Shipping and Economic Development Planning
Norbridge, Inc., in conjunction with the Shaw Group, prepared a Strategic Economic Development Plan (SEDP) for The Ports Association of Louisiana (PAL). The major objectives for developing a Louisiana ports system strategic plan included:
  • Identifying the Louisiana Ports' needs in order to improve their competitive positioning
  • Developing a single roadmap for Louisiana's ports going forward
  • Identifying current and potential markets for PAL and individual ports
  • Providing a clear direction for Louisiana's ports and to help drive the state to a greater maritime position
  • Identifying how to bring more cargo and maritime business to the ports of Louisiana, and developing an action plan to follow, thereby creating jobs and revenues for ports
  • Creating an environment for Louisiana Ports to be successful financially, as well as to foster economic growth
The year-long Norbridge-Shaw SEDP process included extensive primary and secondary research and analysis, and an extensive participatory process which included:
  • A kick-off meeting and three planning sessions attended by nearly all 30+ PAL port director members
  • An initial stakeholder briefing (approximately 100 attendees)
  • Seven industry focus groups throughout the state
  • Briefings with the Secretaries of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and Louisiana Economic Development as well as the Governor's office
Norbridge's role was to prepare the market, competitive, and forecast analyses, prepare the conference working papers for and facilitate the strategic planning conferences, and to prepare the draft strategic plan. Norbridge's work included:
  • A detailed evaluation of the North American, U.S., Gulf Coast and Louisiana container, breakbulk, dry and liquid bulk markets
  • An evaluation of the U.S. Gulf crude oil import trades including consideration of the effects an expanded Panama Canal might have on U.S. Gulf crude oil imports
  • An evaluation of the U.S. Gulf petroleum products trade and future developments including the potential effects an expanded Panama Canal could have on U.S. Gulf petroleum products imports and exports
  • Preparing alternative container, dry and liquid bulk demand forecasts
Value Added
The Norbridge-Shaw SEDP report successfully summarized 12 months of research and included the following findings:
  • Markets and Competition: An overview of marine cargo, shipbuilding and oil and gas-related markets and opportunities, followed by a competitive assessment of the state of Louisiana and its ports relative to other Gulf Coast port systems
  • SEDP Mission and Objectives: PAL member consensus on the organization's mission and objectives going forward
  • Strategic Issues and Options: Strategic issues developed during the planning conferences and range of options addressed
  • Strategic Recommendations: Conclusions selected by PAL and discussed with LOTD and Led secretaries and staff
  • Implementation: The consensus strategies and action plans the Port of Louisiana will pursue to fulfill their mission and objectives and successfully address the strategic issues
PAL has final responsibility for the SEDP recommendations and has accepted the Norbridge-Shaw SEDP, and is in the process of executing the action plan.
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