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A container is offloaded from a SEACOR barge at the Port of New Orleans. SEACOR Holdings Inc. is adding to its presence in Louisiana with the acquisition of New Orleans-based International Shipholding Corp. The company will emerge from bankruptcy reorganization as part of SEACOR Marine, whose offshore support supply vessels service the oil and gas industry.

Louisiana is getting a new round of money for a container-on-barge system that allows the state’s ports to increase traffic without putting more 18-wheelers on congested roads.

Congressman Garret Graves, a Republican from Baton Rouge, said the state is getting a new $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Maritime Administration that will allow for the purchase of six new barges that can carry containers and equipment to unload the cargo coming from Kentucky to Baton Rouge.

Graves said the container-on-barge system allows Louisiana--whose ports primarily deal with bulk cargo like soybeans and steel--to increase their trade of higher-value cargo like electronics and consumer goods. It also decreases costs by keeping big trucks off the state’s crowded interstates.

“Anytime we can provide a more efficient option in louisiana that’s a win,” Graves said.

Louisiana port officials in 2016 launched a container-on-barge service to ease traffic congestion and reduce air pollution. The state has landed three previous grants totaling $8.4 million.

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