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Port of New Orleans Names Wendel Acting CEO

Ronald Wendel Jr.

Posted on May 24, 2024

The Port of New Orleans‘ board (NOLA) yesterday confirmed that Ronald Wendel Jr. will become acting president and CEO of the port and New Orleans Public Belt Railroad in June following the departure of current President and CEO Brandy Christian.

Wendel is now the port’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. Christian announced last week that she would leave her post to become CEO of Patriot Rail Co. in June.

Wendel, who joined Port NOLA in 2015, is poised to make sure that key initiatives — such as the planned $1.8 billion Louisiana International Terminal project in St. Bernard Parish — continue to advance, port officials said in a press release.

Meanwhile, Port of Portland officials last week announced the port would continue providing marine container shipping services at Terminal 6 (T6) to preserve Oregon’s only international container terminal available for shippers.

The decision follows Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek’s May 16 announcement that she will include two critical items in her 2025-27 biennial budget that directly affect marine cargo service at T6: capital investments at the terminal and channel maintenance costs in the lower Columbia River, port officials said in a press release.

Kotek also announced support for operational stopgap funding from the Oregon Emergency Board this fall. With the new state funding, container operations at T6 will carry on as the port continues to lay a foundation for its long-term financial sustainability, port officials said.

They have been trying to rebuild container service since taking over the operation in 2018, following a temporary shutdown under former operator ICTSI. Without direct state support or a financially acceptable third-party lease, container operations have not been sustainable. In April, the port announced that container service would cease in October, though auto and breakbulk shipping operations at T6 would have continued.

The April announcement generated a wave of advocacy from local businesses, legislators and other Oregonians, which inspired new interest from the state to maintain the service at T6.


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