The Port of Corpus Christi is located about 240 kilometers north of the border with Mexico, and it offers efficient modern facilities and service for ocean-going vessels. It contains more than 50 hectares of storage and fabrication sites, a 13.7 meter deep channel, dockside rail services, easy access to highways, and almost 28 thousand square meters of covered dockside storage. Located in a temperate climate, the port is open year-round to handle a wide range of cargoes.
In 2008, more than six thousand vessels visited the Port of Corpus Christi, including 4281 barges, 962 tankers, and 789 dry cargo vessels. The Port of Corpus Christihandled almost 77.9 million metric tons of cargo in 2008, including nearly 63.6 million metric tons of petroleum, 7.1 million metric tons of dry bulk, 4.9 million metric tons of grain, 1.5 million metric tons of chemicals, 501.3 thousand metric tons of breakbulk, and over 273 thousand metric tons of liquid bulk cargoes.
The main inbound cargoes in the Port of Corpus Christi in 2008 included crude oil, gas oil, bauxite ore, fuel oil, feed stock, naphtha, slop and slurry, condensate, reformate, and aggregate-vulcan. The primary outbound cargoes leaving the Port of Corpus Christi in 2008 included gasoline, fuel oil, diesel, wheat, feed stock, sorghum, gas oil, alumina, cumene, and caustic soda.
The Port of Corpus Christi's Northside General Cargo Terminal contains three covered wharves and a roll-on/roll-off ramp, all with rail access. Dock 9 is 201.1 meters long with alongside depth of 11.6 meters, and it has 11.3 thousand square meters of covered storage space. Dock 10 in the Port of Corpus Christi is 213.3 meters long with alongside depth of 9.1 meters, and it has 9.2 thousand square meters of covered refrigerated storage space with capacity for 13.6 million kilograms of cargo. Dock 12 is 213.3 meters long with alongside depth of 6.7 meters, and it contains 823 square meters of open wharf area. The roll-on/roll-off ramp is 231.6 meters long with alongside depth of 11.6 meters. The Port of Corpus Christi's Northside General Cargo Terminal has eleven sites for open area storage, all with rail access, covering a total of 52.2 hectares.
The Port of Corpus Christi's Southside General Cargo Terminal boasts the strongest open wharf on the Gulf of Mexico, Dock 8. The Southside terminal is especially well-suited for heavy lift, roll-on/roll-off, breakbulk, and containerized cargoes. The terminal also offers dockside rail transfer capability and a general purpose bagging facility and seed treating plant. Located near the Southside terminal is Coastal Bend Cold Storage, a state-of-the-art refrigerated facility covering almost 9.3 thousand square meters with excellent connections with both road and rail networks. The Port of Corpus Christi's Southside docks are just over 1.5 kilometers from Interstate Highway 37 and from US Highway 181. It is served by more than six kilometers of tracks and three railways: Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Texas Mexican, and Union Pacific. The docks are served by double rail tracks, and on-dock tracks allow direct transfers between ships and railcars.
An open wharf, the Southside terminal's Dock 8 is 263.7 meters long with alongside depth of 13.7 meters, and it offers over 15.1 thousand square meters of open wharf area. The Southside General Cargo Terminal in the Port of Corpus Christi also contains Docks 14 and 15, which are both covered wharves. In addition, the Port of Corpus Christi's Dock 8 is adjacent to 9.3 hectares of open storage. Dock 14 is 99.1 meters long with alongside depth of 11 meters, offers over six thousand square meters of covered storage area with rail access and truck docks, and contains almost 1.5 thousand square meters of open wharf area. Dock 15 in the Port of Corpus Christi is 186.8 meters long with alongside depth of 11 meters, has almost 2.8 thousand square meters of open wharf area, and contains more than 10 thousand square meters of covered storage area.
In addition to the covered storage areas at the docks, the Southside terminal at the Port of Corpus Christi offers a total of 6.4 thousand square meters of near-dock covered storage. The Transfer Facility East contains almost 2.5 thousand square meters of near-dock covered storage, while the Transfer Facility West offers over 2.7 thousand square meters, and the Truck Terminal has more than 1.2 thousand square meters. The Port of Corpus Christi's Southside terminal also has two open storage sites, both with rail access, covering a total almost 15.4 hectares.
The Port of Corpus Christi's Dry Bulk Terminal is located at the north of Tule Lake Channel in the Inner Harbor and has convenient access to both road and rail networks. The Port of Corpus Christi's Dry Bulk Terminal contains two docks that handle coal, ore, minerals, coal, petroleum coke, and other dry bulk commodities. Bulk Dock #1 supports direct transfers from ship to railcar or truck, and it is set up for cargoes that require special handling. Dock #1 handles c oal, minerals, ore, and other dry bulk commodities. Operated by the Port of Corpus Christi Authority, Bulk Dock #1 is 120.7 meters long with alongside depth of 10.4 meters. The Port of Corpus Christi's Bulk Dock #2 handles primarily coal and petroleum coke that can be loaded directly to vessels or stored at the dock. Dock #2 is 114.3 meters long with alongside depth of 13.7 meters.
The eleven Liquid Bulk Docks at the Port of Corpus Christi are owned and operated by the port. The docks range in length from 75 to 304.8 meters and have alongside depths up to 13.7 meters. The largest of the docks can handle tankers to 100 thousand DWT. There are also 14 privately-owned and operated oil docks in the Port of Corpus Christi that handle a variety of petrochemical and petroleum products.
On the north of the ship channel, the Port of Corpus Christi's Rincon Industrial Park covers more than 200 acres, ample rail services, and an intra-coastal barge canal. With easy access to major highways, Rincon is adjacent to the Northside Cargo Docks.
The Port of Corpus Christi is involved in a number of initiatives to improve and expand port services and cargo traffic. One of the priority projects is development of the city's waterfront, transforming it from a cargo-diverse area to a beautiful attraction for residents, tourists, and cruise passengers. The Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz International Center in the Port of Corpus Christi was the first phase. Completed in 2000, the center is a multi-use cruise terminal and conference center with wonderful views of the harbor.
The Port of Corpus Christi's La Quinta Trade Gateway project is a 445-hectare site that will offer a modern multi-modal facility for the seamless transfer of cargoes from ship to highway, rail, ferry, coastal, and deep-sea conveyances. With over 1.1 kilometers of shoreline and served by an 11.9 meter channel, the Port of Corpus Christi's new La Quinta Trade Gateway will accommodate the largest modern container ships with over 1.5 kilometers of on-dock rail tracks that can handle complete trains without switching. Located in a largely rural area, the Gateway has easy and fast access to interstate and state highways and direct connections with the Union Pacific railroad.
The Port of Corpus Christi's Joe Fulton International Trade Corridor is a joint 11.2-kilometer rail and 18.5-kilometer road project that will improve access to the more than 809 hectares of land on the north side of the channel. Giving access to an additional 405 hectares of land that had no access before, this Port of Corpus Christi land will be provided for marine terminals and industrial sites. The new Trade Corridor in the Port of Corpus Christi will connect two major highways and provide efficient intermodal links for marine, road, and rail transport between the Port of Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Laredo, and Mexico's Rio Grande Valley.
The Port of Corpus Christi owns over 141 hectares of prime land at Harbor Island for development along the Gulf of Mexico. While final decisions have not been made on the uses of the land, three primary uses are being considered: industrial, residential, and resort. The Port of Corpus Christi is currently seeking partners interested in developing the property.
In addition to the improvements to facilities and transportation corridors, the Port of Corpus Christi is considering improvements to the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. The United States Army Corps of Engineers has recommended deepening the channel from the current 13.7 meters to 15.8 meters, widening the channel to 161.5 meters, adding 61-meter wide barge shelves along both sides of the channel across the Port of Corpus Christi Bay, and extending the La Quinta Channel some 2.2 kilometers to a depth of 11.9 meters.
The United States Department of Defense maintains a fleet of military cargo ships for sealifts of military personnel in the case of a military emergency in the Port of Corpus Christi. During peacetime, the ships are berthed at both commercial and government docks across the United States' three coastlines. When they are activated, the ships go to loading ports to pick up equipment for US Army combat divisions and support forces. Over 30 such ships are berthed on the Gulf of Mexico Coast. The Port of Corpus Christi Authority has proposed a partnership with the US government to build a Surge Sealift Homeport on the city's Bay adjacent to the US Naval Station Ingleside. The facility would heighten security for these strategic assets and offer easy access to Port of Corpus Christi loading docks and then the open sea. The facility would be used for sealift ships, training, and deploying units and would enhance US military readiness.
In 2004, the Port of Corpus Christi implemented an Environmental Management System (EMS) in partnership with the US Environmental Protection Agency, the American Association of Port Authorities, and the Global Environment and Technology Foundation. An EMS is a set of management procedures and processes that help an organization assess and improve its environmental impacts. Since 2005, the Port of Corpus Christi Authority has been recognized for maintaining an outstanding EMS program.
Foreign Trade Zone 122 (FTZ) was established in the Port of Corpus Christi in 1985, and it was the first FTZ on the continent to have an oil refinery subzone. Covering over 10 thousand hectares, the Port of Corpus Christi is the grantee for the FTZ which extends well beyond Port of Corpus Christi properties. The Port of Corpus Christi operates six publicly-available general purpose facilities and 12 subzones sponsored on behalf of individual firms. In 2005, petroleum products accounted for 87% of the Port of Corpus Christi's FTZ activity. However, one of the most outstanding improvements to the Port of Corpus Christi is the dockside refrigerated warehouse in General Purpose Zone Site No. 1 that handles cargoes from across the world.