Louisiana Coverage Area
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With service centers in locations across Louisiana, including Shreveport, Port Allen, Lafayette, Jefferson and Pineville, ArcBest® offers transportation and logistics services throughout the state, nationwide and internationally. Call 800-610-5544 to learn more about our solutions.
- Population — 4.6 million as of 2015
- Sales tax rate — 5 percent
- Income tax rate — 4 percent
- Unemployment rate — 4.6 percent as of December 2017
Business Environment in the Creole State
Louisiana relies on the strength of its business climate, low business costs and skilled workforce to attract business. The state offers a diverse, vibrant economy, low taxes and a strong transportation system that makes it an ideal location for companies moving products around the country and across the world.
Louisiana has a strong presence in several traditional economic segments — including agriculture and mining — but other industries also have an impact. Manufacturing, tourism and the film industry each contribute significantly, but agriculture remains the most critical element in the state’s financial chemistry.
Commercial fishing produces about 25 percent of all seafood in the nation, and Louisiana is the national leader in oyster, shrimp, alligator and crawfish production. The state is the world’s primary source of Tabasco peppers and is second in the nation for its production of sugarcane and sweet potatoes. Cattle and poultry products, along with rice, corn and soybeans are other important agriculture products. In total, agriculture contributed $12.4 billion in revenue to the state in 2014, according to an agriculture summary from the LSU AgCenter.
Natural Resource Production
Abundant access to supplies of petroleum and natural gas makes Louisiana a national leader in energy production. The state ranks fourth overall in national petroleum production and is home to 2 percent of the country’s petroleum reserves, a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows. Sulfur, salt, sand, coal and gravel are also mined in the state.
Other Important Industries
A number of films and television programs are filmed in the state, earning Louisiana the unofficial nickname of “Hollywood South.” In 2013, the film industry provided up to $4 billion of overall economic activity and supported up to 33,530 jobs, according to a study from the Louisiana Film Entertainment Association. Tourism is another essential facet of the economy, especially in the New Orleans area, with visitors spending an estimated $5 billion per year in the state. Louisiana’s manufacturing sector is also significant, generating chemical products, petroleum and coal products, processed foods and transportation equipment and paper products.
Shipping Freight in Louisiana
Freight travel is a crucial element to Louisiana’s economy. Each year, $140 billion of goods are shipped from Louisiana and another $159 billion are shipped into the state, mostly by truck, according to a report from the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The state has an interconnected transportation system that uses air, waterways, railways and roadways to move goods around.
Roads are a primary resource for those moving freight into or out of the state. Louisiana has 61,300 miles of public roads, including six interstate highways and 16 U.S. highways. The EPT report estimates 80 percent of the country’s offshore oil and petroleum travels through Louisiana on Interstate 49 — a highway that stretches from New Orleans to Lafayette — earning the roadway the distinction of being “America’s Energy Corridor.” A Louisiana Department of Transportation report estimates ground freight accounts for 58 percent of the tonnage moved through Louisiana, and 46 percent of the freight value that moves through the state.
Six Class I railroads operate on 3,600 miles of freight rail tracks in the state. It’s estimated that 121 million tons of freight moves though the state annually.
Located along the Intracoastal Waterway, Louisiana has more than 2,800 miles of navigable waterways and offers businesses plenty of access to large domestic and international markets. The state is home to five of the 15 busiest water ports in the U.S., including the Port of South Louisiana — located on the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge — which is the largest volume shipping port in the Western Hemisphere and the fourth-largest port in the world. It’s estimated that more than 514 million short tons of cargo is handled at Louisiana water ports on a yearly basis.
Air travel is another popular option in Louisiana. The state has seven commercial service airports, including two international facilities — Alexandria International Airport and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport — making it easy for businesses to get shipments anywhere they need to be.