Ports & Terminals

Expanded Tulsa Ports Looking To The Future

Activity at the Tulsa Ports (formerly known as the Tulsa Port of Catoosa) is steadily increasing. In June alone, it reported a record-setting month of barge shipments of 236,249 tons of cargo.

In 2019, the port acquired 2,000 acres in Inola, Okla., as part of a land transfer from the Public Service Company of Oklahoma. It reported a recent grant of $6.1 million under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s  Infrastructure For Rebuilding America (INFRA) program to improve its rail switching there. The site will become the only Oklahoma focus of the Union Pacific rail system. According to Tulsa Ports president and CEO David Yarbrough, the UP will  conduct its own marketing campaign for the site.

“This investment allows the port to compete on a national and international level in terms of site location and growth for the industry,” the port said in a press release. To reflect its expanded multimodal shipping capabilities, the port launched a new logo and updated website. It’s now branding itself as the “Tulsa Ports.”

In August, the Tulsa Ports reported that NuStar, a leader in the petroleum pipeline and terminal industry, moved 79 railcars. Safety Kleen, another port tenant, had two barges in September going out with refined petroleum and used fuel oil. Port tenant Gavilon received 60,349 tons of fertilizer loaded on 39 barges, and tenant Terra moved 29 outbound barges of ammonia and liquid fertilizer.

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Like the Missouri River, the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System is still recovering from the effects of the 2019 flood. The Tulsa Ports are dredging their own access channel, and tows are restricted to six barges. “The Tulsa and Little Rock districts are doing a tremendous job with the resources they have, but there’s no doubt this river system has more capacity,” Yarbrough said.

Located at the head of navigation for the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System in northeast Oklahoma, the Tulsa Ports comprise one of the largest, most inland river ports in the United States. Seventy companies employing nearly 3,000 workers are currently located within the 2,000-acre industrial park at the Tulsa Ports.