Press Room

Portiss achieves 40 years of service

David Page presented Port Director Bob Portiss with a
lapel pin honoring him for 40 years of service to the Port
at the Port Authority Board Meeting on March 20th.

Senator Inhofe Visits the Port

Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) visited the Port on March
18th. More than 65 Port industry managers attended,
and were given a chance to ask the Senator questions
about any topic that concerned them.

Some of the questions posed were about the state of the inland
waterway system in the U.S. Addressing the need
for repairs along the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River
Navigation System, Inhofe spoke about the possibility
of more public/private partnerships.

“We are looking into ways the private sector
can be more involved in partnering with
the Corps to fund aspects of repairs of our
waterway, as well as the twelve foot channel.
That is one of the issues that the WRRDA bill
addresses,” said Inhofe. Senator Inhofe said he supports passage
of the WRRDA bill, which is now in conference.

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2014 State of the Port

The Tulsa Port of Catoosa is proud to announce 2013
total inbound/outbound shipping was 2,700,990 tons –
just one barge load short of the 2012 all-time-record of
2,702,464 tons.

One barge can hold up to 1,500 tons on the McClellan-
Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS). It
is common to see up to 12 barges tethered together,
pushed by one towboat. A total of 1,494 such barges
passed through the Port in 2013. Just one more would
have achieved another record year for the Port.The 2.7 million tons of cargo shipped through the Port
in 2013 represents approximately $1.35 billion dollars
in commerce. In addition, new businesses and current
industry expansions continue to occur within the Port
providing jobs to more than 4,000 Oklahomans at 70
companies.Main Dock Renovation
The Port was awarded a $6.4 million matching grant
through the 2012 Transportation Investment Generating
Economic Recovery program, or TIGER grant. These
grant funds will cover approximately half of the cost
of a rehabilitation project for the Port’s main dock.
This project will double the Port’s main dock capacity,
simultaneously handle multiple barges and vastly
improve our capabilities to handle non-conventional
cargo types and potentially containerized freight.

This allows the Port to handle more than 1 million tons
of iron and steel and break bulk cargo per year. These
capacity improvements have the potential to redirect
truck transport traffic — including intermodal shipments —
from a number of Gulf ports to inland waterborne traffic
routes through the Port of New Orleans and subsequently
to the Port of Catoosa further enhancing the Port’s
existing status as an inland, international logistics
center. In addition, plans are underway to expand barge
handling capabilities through the construction of a new
fleeting area south of the Port.

Flourishing Business
Because of new and growing businesses at the Port, and
our shortage of fully-developed industrial sites, we are
clearing 45 acres for new industrial locations. This tract
will soon have all major utilities and a roadway in place to
provide build-ready sites of 5-10 acres.

Crucial Challenges
The Port’s future growth and very existence is in danger.
Four pressing issues must be addressed along the 445-mile
navigation channel:
• Deferred maintenance and the deterioration of
• Congressional authorization for a joint emergency
failure response program between the Corps of
Engineers and non-federal interests
• Deepening of the navigational channel from 9 to 12 feet
• Widening of highway 266 from the Port entrance to
Highway 169

Critical repairs and maintenance, which have been
deferred due to lack of sufficient funds and resources, are
long overdue. If one failure occurs, the state of Oklahoma
would lose no less than $2 million day.

The Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce included
the Port and the waterway in its “One Voice” initiative,
including encouraging Congress to approve the Water
Resources Reform and Development Act (the “WRRDA”
Bill). Versions of this bill have passed in both the House
and the Senate, but the bill has remained mired in joint
committee negotiations since October 2013.

In 2013, Governor Mary Fallin issued an executive order
creating an Oklahoma Port Task Force to prepare for
changes related to the expansion of the Panama Canal
and appointed our Port Director, Bob Portiss, as Chair. The
first meeting of that task force was held in January.

In addition, An Oklahoma legislative resolution passed
in the 2013 session called for collaboration between
the states utilizing the McClellan-Kerr to establish goals
to maintain the system for best use. The resolution also
urges Congress to release funds for the waterway.

The past two years of vibrant shipping and industrial
activity at the Port is proof our navigation system must be
prepared for more growth and higher tonnage volumes
in the future. We have asked the federal government for
funds to complete the congressionally authorized project
to deepen the channel from Catoosa to the Mississippi
River from 9 to 12 feet. We have also asked state and local
officials for assistance in the widening of State Highway
266 from I-44 — east of the Port — to U.S. 169. In addition,
we have requested assistance in developing high-wide
corridors to facilitate the movement of oversize and
overweight cargo to and from the Port on our regional
roads and highways.

Safety & Security
In 2013, the first phase of wireless digital video cameras
were placed in strategic locations around the Port
to monitor activity. Additionally, construction is now
underway on a new perimeter fence project which
will secure the boundaries of the Port industrial park
and terminal area. Later this summer, we will continue
the progress on the 4-lane Main Parkway project by
continuing to replace old pavement with new and adding
energy efficient L.E.D. lighting in the medians.

Higher Visibility
Public relations is an important facet of our business
development efforts. Last August, the Port entered into
an agreement with Rex Public Relations to provide PR
representation. The Port recently updated its website at, and we encourage you to follow us
on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Our new Maritime Education Center is scheduled to open
May 2 with interactive exhibits, computer terminals,
and graphics showing the history and current utilization
of the Port. We are excited about this new way to give
Port visitors—both adults and children– an enhanced
educational experience to learn about our Port and our

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Tulsa Port Welcomes El Puerto Mexican Restaurant

The Port now has a new restaurant for noon diners. El Puerto Mexican Restaurant opened at Port Plaza in late March.

Owner Rene Viveros, who formerly managed the Speedy Gonzales Restaurant in Glenpool, is now preparing his own recipes for the Port community including tacos, enchiladas, and homemade chips and salsa. Catering is also available. Call El Puerto at 918-739-4884 for some of El Puerto’s ‘bien bueno’ cuisine!
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Tulsa Port of Catoosa Reports February Shipping

CATOOSA, OKLA. – March 20, 2014 – Outbound shipping from the Port dipped slightly compared to January as fewer barges of soy products left the facility, leading to lower tonnage totals in February.

Total inbound/outbound waterborne cargo was 222,367 tons.

“An increase in exports of soybeans from South America pulled demand away from the U.S. resulting in less demand for barge shipments from the Port,” said John Goetting, Manager of Gavilon Grain at the Port.

Goetting said the forecast is for lower numbers for outbound soybeans in March also.

However, for the Port to reach two million tons in a calendar year, an average of 167,000 tons is needed. At 222,367 tons in February, along with 297,359 tons in January, the Port is well above average for the year.

“Along with seasonal variations for the types an quantities of cargo that are typically shipped through the Port, there are also fluctuations based on price. Demand will change based on all of those factors,” said David Page, Chairman of the City of Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority. “This happens quite regularly. Regardless, we are still looking at a positive forecast for waterway shipping activities this year at the Port.”

Total shipping for the entire MKARNS system in February was 970,051 tons. Of that total, 516,010 tons shipped through Oklahoma. The Tulsa Port of Catoosa handled a quarter of the cargo shipped on the MKARNS. Forty-three percent of the cargo shipped through Oklahoma was handled by the Port.

The 2,500-acre Tulsa Port of Catoosa complex offers industrial sites for lease, and its Riverview Business Park, adjacent to the Port, offers property for sale. Together they are home to more than 70 industrial facilities employing nearly 4,000 employees.



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