Port of Corpus Christi
Ports & Terminals

Port Of Corpus Christi Logs Record Tonnage In First Quarter

Last year’s tonnage growth at the Port of Corpus Christi has continued into this year, with the port logging record tonnage in the first quarter of 2023. In January, February and March of this year, the port saw 49.6 million tons of cargo move through its jurisdiction, beating the first quarter of 2022 by more than 6 million tons and moving past the previous quarterly record of 49.5 million tons, set in the fourth quarter of 2022.

What’s more, March was the best single month ever for the port, with more than 17.5 million tons of cargo moving through the Corpus Christi gateway.

Crude oil in the first quarter of 2023 saw a 24.3 percent year-over-year increase, with daily export rates reaching 2.3 million barrels, also a record. Refined products in March were up 6.3 percent compared to last year. The port saw 4.2 million total tons of liquefied natural gas handled in the first quarter, which was a 1.8 percent increase over last year. However, the port noted, with Cheniere’s Corpus Christi liquefaction facility undergoing a 12 million ton per year expansion, new LNG capacity will come online in late 2024 or early 2025.

“The Port of Corpus Christi and our customers continue to drive more energy-related tonnage through the gateway, demonstrating confidence in the organization and our infrastructure investments, which have increased the economic resiliency of the region, the state of Texas and the nation,” said Sean Strawbridge, Port of Corpus Christi CEO and chairman of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA). “While the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Federal Reserve have indicated the possibility of a global recession, we remain optimistic the strategy of adding new energy transition-related projects to our portfolio, while continuing the support of traditional energy markets, is a sure bet for both today and in the years ahead.”

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That “energy transition” portfolio at Corpus Christi includes a $16.4 million grant through the U.S. Department of Energy’s CarbonSAFE initiative to help the port evaluate the feasibility of storing carbon dioxide captured from industrial operations in the area. The port has also led the creation of a regional clean hydrogen hub, with an application submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy early this month.

“As the ‘Energy Port of the Americas,’ the Port of Corpus Christi remains committed to serving our existing customers and attracting new business to the energy landscape of south Texas,” said Charles Zahn, chairman of the port commission. “We have our eye on the bigger picture, which is generating and sustaining more jobs in Texas.”