Port of Corpus Christi
|Port Corpus Christi|
|Location||Port Corpus Christi, Texas|
|Opened||September 14, 1926|
|Vice Chair||Judy Hawley|
Michael D. Scott
|Annual cargo tonnage||82,194,291 total short tons (FY 2010)|
|Annual revenue||US$53 million (FY 2010)|
Port Corpus Christi is the 5th largest port in the United States in total tonnage. Port Corpus Christi is located on Corpus Christi Bay in the western Gulf of Mexico, with a straight 45’ deep channel. The Port is located close to downtown Corpus Christi, Texas, Nueces County, Texas; but the port is not part of the City or the County. Port Corpus Christi operates without receiving any city, county, or state tax dollars. Port Corpus Christi is governed by an unpaid board of seven citizens, three of which are appointed by the Nueces County Commissioners Court, one by the San Patricio County Commissioners Court, and three by the Corpus Christi City Council. Port Corpus Christi handles over 6,000 vessels and over 80,000 tons of cargo annually. Environmental initiatives are handled through the Port's Environmental Management System (EMS). To fight crime and terrorism Public Safety at Port Corpus Christi is handled by the Port Corpus Christi Police department and it's state-of-the-art security center.
The need to build a deep water port for Corpus Christi was realized after the devastating hurricane of September 14, 1919. Local business leaders realized that a deep water port was a necessary catalyst to the local economy. Construction of Port Corpus Christi began. On September 14, 1926, seven years to the day after the devastating hurricane, there was an official "statewide" celebration of the opening of the Port. At that time the three Navigation Commissioners were Robert Driscoll, Chairman; John W. Kellam of Robstown; and W.W. Jones. The first Port Commission was appointed in 1923 with three members. In 1973 a special act of legislature increased the number of Commissioners to five, and in 1983 another special act of the legislature increased to the current number of seven. In the early days of the Port, cotton was king. Nueces County and surrounding counties were among the State's leaders in cotton production. There were four cargo docks when the Port opened. The use of the Port from its opening was so great that after only two years, in 1928, the Port went to the people with an issue of an additional $1,500,000 in bonds to build two more cargo docks. In 1930, the channel was deepened to 30 feet. In the early 1930s, large oil fields were discovered in San Patricio, Nueces, and neighboring counties. Refineries began to locate along the Port. From the mid-1930s, the major portion of the tonnage moved through the Port shifted from cotton to petroleum and petroleum products. In 1985 the Port of Corpus Christi was designated as a Foreign Trade Zone and in 1986, the agreements were entered into with the first two Users. The Port's Foreign Trade Zone has sub-zones which include portions of the facilities of most of the refineries near the Port of Corpus Christi. A channel depth of 45' reached the La Quinta Channel in 1975. By 1989 the 45' depth reached through the inner harbor giving Corpus Christi the deepest waterway of any port in the Gulf of Mexico at the time. The late 80's and early 90's brought diversification efforts to enhance the economic foundation of the Port by attracting new cargoes, including: steel products, project cargoes, refrigerated cargoes, military equipment cargo, cruise ships, forest products, automobiles, containers, and more.
Port Corpus Christi handles break bulk cargo, project cargo, oil and gas, dry bulk, agricultural, refrigerated cargo, and containerized cargo, among other commodities. Cotton was the main cargo in the early days of Port Corpus Christi, and is still traded through the Port today. Texas is now the top wind energy production state in the United States, producing more wind energy than all but five countries (the U.S., Germany, Spain, China, and India), thus creating an increased demand for wind turbines. These wind turbines are also a main cargo moving through Port Corpus Christi. In 2009 the US Army Corps of Engineers approved the dredging of the La Quinta Channel extension ahead of the construction of the La Quinta multipurpose facility. This facility (in construction phase, 2011) will provide Port Corpus Christi the ability to handle an estimated 1 million TEUs annually.
The top 10 commodities traded in 2009 are as follows:
|2||Fuel Oil||Fuel Oil|
|9||Slop and Slurry||Asphalt|
In January 2004, the Port of Corpus Christi Authority developed and implemented an Environmental Management System (EMS) through a Port EMS Assistance Project. It was a partnership effort with American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF) for eleven ports to develop an EMS modeled after the ISO 14001 Standard. An EMS is a set of management processes and procedures that allow an organization to analyze, control, and improve the environmental consequences of its activities. The development and implementation took two years to complete and since that time Port Corpus Christi has been maintaining an award-winning EMS program. In 2007 Port Corpus Christi received ISO 14001 certification of its EMS program and continues to maintain this certification. In 2010 Port Corpus Christi received a grant from the EPA to re-power its existing 1,000 horsepower locomotive switch engine with two 700 horsepower GENSET engines to help reduce diesel emissions at the Port. In 2011 the construction of six wind turbines began on Port Property. This is projected to provide over 30 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy power per year.
- "OCEAN SHIPPING," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/eto01), accessed November 03, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.