Port of LC now 10th on list of busiest ports

Published 5:53 pm Friday, May 10, 2024

The Port of Lake Charles is moving up the list of the nation’s busiest ports. Hovering around 12 or 13 at the beginning of the year, this deep-water port is now ranked 10th. Tim Jay of Global Trade called The Port of Lake Charles an “elite player in maritime commerce.”

Port of Lake Charles Executive Director Rick Self said the ranking is based on tonnage shipped in and out of the port in 2022.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers waterborne commerce statistics for Lake Charles is 64.2 million tons of cargo, a 32.7 percent increase over the previous year. The Calcasieu Ship channel hosted more than 1,000 deep draft vessels, including 333 LNG vessels.

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“We’re gonna move,” Self said at the SWLA Economic Develop Alliance Education & Workforce Committee meeting on Thursday. “If one or two projects go forward, we’re going to move into the single digits.”

LNG exports are one of the reasons for the port’s growth during the last few years. One of the projects Self is referring to that could catapult the Port of Lake Charles into the single digits is Venture Global Calcasieu Pass 2 (CP2) LNG Export facility, a project on temporary pause as the Department of Energy reviews applications to export to non-free trade agreement countries and updates economic and environmental impacts.

Lake Charles LNG anticipates making their final investment decision in the second quarter of 2025, according to Self.

Other projects that stand to add traffic to ship channel is the Cameron LNG Expansion, set to develop north into Calcasieu Parish and Driftwood LNG in Carlyss. These two projects were underway and not affected by Biden’s directive to the DOE in January.

Other ports on the Corp of Engineers list is the Port of Houston at the number one spot. South Louisiana is second, then Corpus Christi, New York/New Jersey, Long Beach, California, New Orleans, Beaumont and Baton Rouge.