Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Tulsa Port of Catoosa?
The Tulsa Port of Catoosa is an Inland International Seaport and 2,500-acre industrial park created for industries that can benefit from water transport. There are more than 60 companies currently located at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa, employing nearly 4,000 Oklahomans.
An inland international seaport in Oklahoma?
The Tulsa Port of Catoosa is situated at the head of navigation for the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, stretching from Catoosa, Oklahoma to the Mississippi River 445-miles away. It travels along the Verdigris, Arkansas and White rivers. Cargo loaded in river barges in Catoosa can be transported via the Port of New Orleans to any seaport in the world, without touching land again.
By heading north on the Mississippi and Ohio systems, ports as far away as St. Louis, Minneapolis, Chicago or Pittsburgh can be accessed.
To make reliable navigation possible on the Arkansas River, the Army Corps of Engineers built 18 locks and dams between Catoosa and the Mississippi River, forming a “staircase of water” across the entire state of Arkansas and 1/3 of the way into Oklahoma.
Can I come see what happens at the Port of Catoosa?
Absolutely! We believe the Tulsa Port of Catoosa is one of our region’s great assets and economic drivers. Guided tours for groups are available upon request by calling us at (918) 266-2291. Self guided tours are only available during the hours of 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. If you want to explore the Tulsa Port of Catoosa on your own, we also have a self-guided tour available here.
Can we see a lock at the Port of Catoosa?
The nearest, the Newt Graham Lock and Dam, is 23 river miles from Catoosa. It is located seven miles south of Highway 412, one mile southwest of the town of Inola. Tourists are welcome. Call (918) 682-4314 for more information.
Who uses the Port?
There are more than industrial facilities within the Port that employ nearly 4,000 people involved in manufacturing, distribution and processing of products ranging from agricultural commodities to manufactured consumer goods.
Why are barges and water transport important for shipping bulk freight?
One reason is cost, it is estimated that bulk freight can be moved by barge for 1/3 the cost of railroad and 1/5 the cost of truck.
Secondly, cargo that is too big or too heavy to be transported over the highways or by railroad is a perfect candidate for water transport. Equipment weighing more than 600 tons has passed over the Tulsa Port of Catoosa’s docks.
Another reason is economy of scale. A full tow on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System consists of eight barges, lashed tightly together and pushed from behind by a single towboat. With each barge holding 1,400 to 1,500 tons of material, a full complement of eight barges carries the equivalent of 480 semi-trailer trucks.
How fast does river traffic go?
Approximately 6 to 10 miles per hour. It takes about 10 days to reach New Orleans from Catoosa.