Ports & Terminals

Corpus Christi Port Tops 200 Million Tons, Sets Cargo Record

The Port of Corpus Christi, Texas, set a new record for tonnage in 2023, moving more than 200 million tons of cargo through the Corpus Christi Ship Channel for the first time.

The 203 million tons moved was an 8.1 percent increase from the 2022 total. The new high mark primarily can be attributed to a jump in crude oil exports to 126.1 million tons in 2023, a 12.5 percent increase compared to 2022. The Port of Corpus Christi also saw a nearly 13.5 percent increase in agricultural commodities to more than 2.2 million tons, as well as a slight increase in refined products to 42.5 million tons. In addition, a record volume of liquefied natural gas (LNG)—16.3 million tons—moved through the Corpus Christi Ship Channel in 2023.

Port of Corpus Christi customers moved 51.8 million tons through the gateway during the fourth quarter of 2023, a 4.4 percent increase from the same period in 2022. The leading commodities during the quarter were crude oil, refined products and LNG. The 12.2 million tons of crude oil moved through the waterway in December was a record, 10.1 percent higher than the previous record set in September 2023.

“The reaching of this newest milestone in the Port of Corpus Christi’s lengthy history is a testament to the strength and commitment of our customers, who supply much-needed goods to our trading partners around the world,” said Kent Britton, CEO for the Port of Corpus Christi. “Closing out 2023 on such a strong note sets the right tone as we go into 2024, which we expect to be another solid year for our customers.”

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Ship Channel Project

In September, the Corps of Engineers awarded the final contract for the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project to Callan Marine Ltd. Phases one and two have been completed, with the third estimated for completion later this year. The fourth and final phase of the CIP is projected to be finished in early 2025.

The port also has several other infrastructure projects in development or under construction, including improvements to its bulk terminal docks, upgrades to Cargo Dock 9—which handles break bulk cargo, like wind farm components—and expansion of Oil Dock 1. When the Oil Dock 1 project is complete, it will be the first of the port’s inner harbor docks to accommodate the new 54-foot depth.

“On behalf of my fellow Port of Corpus Christi commissioners, I congratulate our customers and staff for achieving this incredible milestone in 2023,” said David Engel, chairman of the Port of Corpus Christi Commission. “We remain committed to investing in our infrastructure to ensure our customers are able to continue and expand their success, which will allow for further economic development in south Texas.”