The following news release was prepared yesterday by the Port of New Orleans and appears with their permission.

August 23, 2007. New Orleans. Seaboard Marine and the Port of New Orleans agreed to a six-year lease for France Road Berth 1 today, which will allow the Miami-based ocean transportation company to grow its business in New Orleans and put a Port facility idle since Hurricane Katrina back into commerce.

“We are excited about the opportunity to help Seaboard Marine grow its business in New Orleans and also to put portions of our France Road facility back in operation,” said Gary LaGrange, president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans. “The Port will work diligently with Seaboard to ensure the long-term success of the facility.”

Seaboard currently has three ships serving its direct twice a week service between New Orleans and the North Central America region. Seaboard ships sail from New Orleans to Santo Tomas, Guatemala and Puerto Cortes, Honduras, and are currently handled at the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal.

“We look forward to taking the next step in growing what has been a productive relationship with the Port of New Orleans and establishing our own facility on France Road,” said Bruce Brecheisen, vice president of Seaboard Marine. “This facility should provide a platform to grow and develop our New Orleans operations further.”

A leader in cargo trade throughout the Caribbean Basin and Latin America, Seaboard currently operates a fleet of 40 cargo ships, which call on more than 25 countries.

The Port’s France Road container terminal has been shuttered since Hurricane Katrina. The majority of Seaboard’s vessels can currently transit the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal Locks, allowing access to the France Road facility.

Seaboard and the Port will spend $1.126 million initially for infrastructure improvements to the facility, which includes a more than 17-acre marshalling yard at France Road Berth 2 and 3 and Terminal Berth 1, along with a back-up area at the entrance plaza at France Road Berth 4. The lease area also includes a 67,000 square-foot warehouse. Port officials will also actively seek $6 million from state and federal sources to renovate the entire terminal at France Road Berth 1.

The agreement includes three renewal options for six years each, which would keep Seaboard operating at France Road for 24 years.