Louisiana business is booming, and businesses themselves are primed for global expansion. Since 2008, Louisiana has been home to economic development projects responsible for the creation of more than 63,000 jobs and more than $28 billion in new capital investments. Similar to its investment success, Louisiana has more than doubled its exports since 2009, and currently ranks sixth among U.S. states in terms of highest dollar export value.
Home to some of the busiest ports in the U.S. and the largest port district in the Western Hemisphere with more than 30 individual deep and shallow water ports and related infrastructure, international trade is abundantly available to businesses in Louisiana. Being close to the Mississippi River provides Louisiana with many shipping opportunities. As a top national exporter, every year Louisiana exports more than 56 billion worth of commodities and finished goods to the rest of the United States making Louisiana’s inland and coastal ports essential to the local and national economy. More than any other U.S. state, Louisiana has a multi-modal advantage given its plethora of rail, port, aviation and highway networks. Louisiana is also one of only two states in the U.S. where all six of North America’s Class One railroads converge, and the only state where all six railroads have direct access to major ports.
To learn more, visit the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and the Ports Association of Louisiana.
Louisiana is home to strong traditional industries, such as oil and gas, petrochemicals and shipbuilding, as well as newer growth industries with strong foundations in technology, research and coastal restoration. Each of these industries are key to Louisiana trade.
For more information on Louisiana’s key sectors, click here.
The Louisiana agricultural industry has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, establishing record yields for most major commodities, including spices. Innovative research centers and a wealth of raw materials attribute to 60% of the nation’s agricultural exports coming through Louisiana, and keep Louisiana’s billion-dollar agribusiness healthy and thriving.
Louisiana ranks second in the nation in the primary production of petrochemicals. More than 100 major chemical plants are located in the state, producing a variety of “building block” chemicals, fertilizers, and plastics. The chemical industry remains a key pillar to the foundation of the Louisiana export economy and shares a rich history with the people of the Pelican State.
For more information, visit Louisiana Chemical Association.
Coastal, Shipbuilding, and Dredging
Louisiana shipyards build every kind of seafaring vessel, from the latest cryogenic ships to some of the largest oil and natural gas rigs in the world. Merchant ships, Coast Guard cutters, barges, tugs, fishing vessels, pleasure craft and river boats are all built and maintained in Louisiana’s shipyards and dry-docks. Connected to these shipyards are dredging and pumping stations, which use cutting-edge technology to stem the rising tides during hurricane season. These pumping stations are vital to maintaining New Orleans’ structural integrity as dredged materials are used in coastal restoration.
Louisiana’s strong infrastructure, workforce, logistics and regulatory environment make it an ideal home for energy companies, both large and small. With 19 operating refineries, Louisiana was second only to Texas in both total and operating refinery capacity. With the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) – the only port in the United States capable of offloading deep draft tanker – Louisiana is a world class hub for the oil and gas sector.
Additionally, the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry is helping Louisiana become a major global exporter. The Louisiana Energy Export Association (LEEA) member companies are investing almost $60 billion in Louisiana, its community, and its future with the LNG industry. Through LNG projects, LEEA member projects are creating thousands of jobs across Louisiana and soon New Orleans will lead the United States in natural gas exports.
The Louisiana manufacturing industry has a broad and diverse base. Louisiana produces business telephone systems, assembles light trucks, manufactures electrical equipment, produces pharmaceuticals, glass products, and automobile batteries, as well as specialized vehicles and equipment. The State’s favorable income tax and strong multi-modal infrastructure provide the resources companies need to thrive, domestically and internationally.
For more information, visit Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana.
Minerals and Ores
Louisiana has immense quantities of minerals—particularly salt—contained beneath its surface. The salts lie in huge underground formations, some of which are a mile across and up to 50,000 feet deep, many of which produce almost pure rock salt. Additionally, the first sulphur mines in the United States came from Louisiana, and the state is still a principal producer of the mineral.
Louisiana’s seafood industry catches about 25 percent of all the seafood landed in the United States and holds the record for the largest catch ever landed in a single year, 1.9 billion pounds. The state is the largest producer of shrimp and oyster in the U.S., while menhaden, crab, butterfish, drum, red snapper, tuna and tile fish are also plentiful. The state’s freshwater fisheries are some of the most productive and diverse in the country.
For more information, visit Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board.
Specialty Foods, Spices, Beverages & Tobacco
The state’s strong agricultural production has boosted the food, beverage and tobacco industries by supporting over a dozen rice mills, seven sugar refineries and a healthy beer and spirits industry. As the sole source of perique tobacco, Louisiana’s role in the tobacco industry remains practically important. Louisiana a strong exporter within of specialty foods and craft brews.