Ports & Terminals

Corpus Christi Port Handles Record Tonnage In 2021

In 2021, the Port of Corpus Christi saw a whopping 81.2 percent increase in shipments of liquified natural gas (LNG) compared to 2020. That steep gain in LNG, coupled with an average daily export of 1.76 million barrels of crude oil in 2021, pushed the port’s annual tonnage above 167 million tons, which, at a 4.7 percent increase over 2020, set a new record.

“These tonnage numbers are an indication of a continued recovery in the global energy markets coupled with an economic resiliency resulting from our transportation infrastructure investments alongside our customers’ increased investments in their operations,” said Sean Strawbridge, CEO of the port. “While 2021 was no less challenging than 2020, I commend our port commissioners and staff for their continued dedication to creating more value for our customers as we increase the competitiveness of [the movement of goods] through our gateway.”

LNG exports from the Port of Corpus Christi stood at 15.7 million tons in 2021. The port also saw growth in its break bulk cargo business line as it handled wind energy components, natural gas liquids, diesel and motor gasoline. Crude oil exports surpassed 60 million barrels in December, making it the first time for the port to surpass that mark in any single month. The port bested its 2020 record for average daily crude oil exports by about 100,000 barrels a day.

In 2021, Corpus Christi accounted for 58 percent of all crude oil exports in the country.

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The fourth quarter of 2021, with 44.3 million tons handled, was the port’s best quarter on record, as was the second half of 2021, which saw a 4.7 percent increase from the previous record for a six-month period.

“As the ‘Energy Port of the Americas,’ the Port of Corpus Christi remains committed to helping its customers meet the demand for American-produced energy now and into the future, while also continuing the Port of Corpus Christi’s evolution as a renewable energy hub,” Port Commission Chairman Charles Zahn said. “We stand, as always, aligned with our industry partners as we move ahead with new projects in 2022 that will undoubtedly open the door to new investments and more jobs in Texas.”

Over the past five years, the port, along with the South Texas Coastal Bend, has seen more than $55 billion in private industrial investments. In addition, the Corpus Christi Ship Channel is in the midst of a channel improvement project to make it the deepest and widest seaport on the Gulf. Completion of the effort to deepen the ship channel to 54 feet is expected in late 2023.