The Port of New Orleans has played a major part of American history -- after all, the US purchased Louisiana to ensure control of it. By virtue of its location at the mouth of the Mississippi River on the Gulf of Mexico, the port connects the Midwestern US with the world. One of the busiest US ports, the Port of New Orleans handles export cargo such as grain and steel that arrives via the US inland waterway system. The port also is served by six major railroads. Import cargo handled at the port includes coffee, plywood, rubber, and steel. The Port of New Orleans is governed by a seven-member board appointed by the governor of Louisiana; board members represent New Orleans and two neighboring parishes.
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