Port of Corpus Christi reports record tonnage

Nueces Country Record Star
Port of Corpus Christi Cargo Docks

The Port of Corpus Christi reports 2020 with record tonnage, mainly attributable to a 65 percent increase in crude oil shipments from 2019. The Port set a new annual tonnage record of 159.7 million tons, a 31 percent increase over 2019, as well as a new monthly record of 15.9 million tons for December, 15 percent higher than December 2019. This performance helped push fourth-quarter results to a new quarterly record of 42.2 million tons, surpassing the prior record from Q1-2020, according to the press release. 

Several new marine terminals were brought online in 2020, including EPIC Midstream, Buckeye’s South Texas Gateway, Plains All-American and Enterprise Products’ Eagle Ford Terminal joint venture, Pin Oak Corpus Christi, and South Texas Cement. In addition to increased crude oil shipments totaling 96.4 million tons, the Port saw a 26 percent increase in liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments at 8.7 million tons, and agricultural exports increasing 70 percent in 2020 at nearly 4.3 million tons.

The Port further solidified its position as the Nation’s leading energy export gateway with a record 1.9 million barrels per day of crude oil exports in December 2020.

“Despite the extraordinary challenges we navigated in 2020, the Port of Corpus Christi and its customers have yet again demonstrated the resiliency of this strategic gateway for American goods to reach the global demand centers. This record performance is a clear indication of the importance of our critical infrastructure for Texas and the Nation,” said Sean Strawbridge, Chief Executive Officer for the Port of Corpus Christi. “I commend the Port Commission and Staff for their dedication to serving our customers, and I congratulate our customers for their continued partnerships and investments in our Port. American energy exports remain strong, and our ESG programs continue to lead the sector as we enter an era of economic recovery.”

The Port of Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend has seen nearly $55 billion in private industrial investments over the past 5 years, an unprecedented level of growth resulting in a vibrant regional economy. Additional investments in infrastructure include the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project, which once completed in late 2023 will be the deepest and widest ship channel in the entire U.S. Gulf. The Channel Project received an additional $100 million Federal appropriations in December of 2020 as part of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) passage. Additional investments include expanded rail capacity to serve all North American markets with three Class 1 railroads and over 4,000 acres available in public-private partnership development options for companies seeking a more favorable business climate.

“The Port of Corpus Christi plays a vital role to not only the Coastal Bend economy, but that of the State of Texas and the Nation,” said Charles W. Zahn, Port of Corpus Christi Commission Chairman. “The success that the Port has been able to realize in 2020, despite its challenges, is a direct result of everyone working toward a common goal – to ensure essential goods continue to flow during this difficult time and that economic recovery continues on an upward trend.”