In New Orleans we have an abundance of music, food, and festivals. It might not be quite so obvious, but we also have way above the national average of trains, boats, and trucks.

Oh, and of course, potholes.

Trains Boats Trucks, and Your Car

If you drive around New Orleans, there are a number of things that can tick you off. Aside from the potholes. One is getting stuck at a railroad crossing.

You have your schedule all planned out. You’re going to get wherever you’re going right on time. Then, suddenly, there’s a train a mile long, going about 2 miles an hour. If you’ve ever sat in your car, fuming, wondering who on God’s green earth is responsible for putting train tracks across a busy street, well, meet Maggie Cloos.

Maggie Cloos is keeping the trains and the rest of us on track

Maggie Cloos

Maggie Cloos is the Geographical Information Systems Manager at the Port of New Orleans.

The New Orleans Public Belt Railroad was acquired by the Port of New Orleans in 2018. The railroad is one part of a giant transportation operation that’s mostly hidden from view behind the flood wall, but reportedly generates 20% of all jobs in Louisiana. That’s just one of many staggering statistics Peter Ricchiuti digs into in this conversation with Maggie Cloos.

Another thing you notice when you drive around New Orleans, especially on the interstate, is the number of trucks. Because we’re a port city, we attract trucks and truck drivers from all over the country.

We also have our own local fleets of trucks that are part of a complex web of logistics that take them up and down the interstate, and in and out of the port.

Innovative trucker, Otis Tucker

Otis Tucker

Trucking Innovation NOLA is one of those truck fleets, with 20 employees and over 40 owner-operators. The founder and Senior Manager of Trucking Innovation NOLA is Otis Tucker Jr.

Otis, Maggie and Peter yuck it up till lunch arrives

Otis Tucker, Maggie Cloos, Peter Ricchiuti

Photos over lunch at Commander’s Palace by Jill Lafleur.

Check out New Orleans’ earlier golden era of Hollywood Trucks.

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