International Shipholding Corp. will relocate its corporate headquarters back to New Orleans, Louisiana
, where the business was founded in 1947. After Hurricane Katrina, recovery challenges led the company, which operates a global fleet of waterborne cargo vessels, to move its headquarters to Mobile, Alabama
According to Louisiana Economic Development
, ISH will create 100 new direct jobs at a 45,000- to 50,000-square-foot headquarters facility in the city’s Warehouse District, where the company will soon complete a purchase of property already under contract.
“We are pleased to be returning to New Orleans where the Mississippi River once again plays an important strategic role for our company,” ISH President Erik L. Johnsen said. “We are excited to be returning at a time when the city has made significant progress in its recovery. We further believe we will be better-positioned in New Orleans to take advantage of transportation opportunities from the significant industrial investment being made in the state.”
International Shipholding Corp. will conduct its headquarters facility renovation in 2014 and 2015 and relocate employees and resources as the corporate headquarters is completed. The entire transition will be concluded by the fourth quarter of 2015, when ISH will begin formal operation of its headquarters in New Orleans.
“We are elated to welcome International Shipholding home after their departure following Hurricane Katrina,” said President and CEO Gary LaGrange of the Port of New Orleans. “We have a real opportunity to work with them on the implementation of Louisiana’s new international trade master plan, which will affect Louisiana globally.”
“Greater New Orleans Inc. is proud to be part of the team that has helped bring International Shipholding back to New Orleans,” said President and CEO Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc. “International Shipholding’s return is a double-win for the region. First, we are gaining 100 new direct jobs. But even more importantly, International Shipholding’s return to New Orleans heralds a broader, deeply important trend – the best people and companies are coming home.”
Gov. Bobby Jindal said, “I am excited to announce the return of International Shipholding Corporation to New Orleans, where ISH will continue a great tradition of maritime and international commerce companies operating in Louisiana’s largest city. ISH could have stayed in Mobile, but they are coming back home because of our strong business climate, expanding industrial projects, resurgent New Orleans economy, and business growth along the Mississippi River.
In addition to operating a diversified fleet of 50 cargo vessels, International Shipholding provides brokerage, logistics
and other maritime services for a broad array of customers, including the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, International Paper, Norfolk Southern, Freeport Copper & Gold, Dow, Cargill, CSX, The Mosaic Company and more.
To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered the company a competitive incentive package
that includes performance-based grants of $5.17 million to offset costs of establishing the new headquarters facility in New Orleans and $5.10 million to reimburse relocation costs associated with the company’s move. In addition, ISH will receive the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart, the nation’s No. 1-ranked state workforce training program.
Based upon ISH’s plans to renovate a historic structure, the company could be eligible for a Restoration Tax Abatement incentive waiving property taxes on improvements to the structure for up to 10 years, subject to approvals from the local governing authority and the State of Louisiana.