Ports & FTZs: Expand The Reach Of Commerce

Support from federal and local governments has allowed ports across the United States to increase its import and export capabilities. 

Port Lake Charles (Louisiana) Offers Liquefied Natural Gas

International markets hungry for energy have made it the world’s centerpiece for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. National and global shippers depend on it to steer lumber and other products here. Southwest Louisiana relies on it to move out industrial materials, rice, and other local cargoes.

It’s the Port of Lake Charles, in Louisiana—more formally, the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District—as well as the Calcasieu Ship Channel.

Ports and Foreign Trade Zones
The Port of Lake Charles in Southwest Louisiana is central to LNG exports. (Photo: SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA ALLIANCE)

The Port of Lake Charles is:

  • The nation’s 12th-busiest port district, based on tonnage in recent years as measured by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • The core of “America’s Energy Corridor”—as the world’s #1 LNG export area and as a major mover of petrochemical industry materials.
  • A port of choice for breakbulk, specialty, and project cargoes—ranging from international lumber shipments to global industrial needs.

No. 1 For LNG Worldwide

Southwest Louisiana is the world leader in the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The nation’s top place to export LNG is the growing complex on and around the Ship Channel and port district property.

Buyers worldwide are looking to the United States, as the world’s largest exporter and key swing supplier, for solutions.

Southwest Louisiana is not only the home of multiple LNG facilities but also the upcoming LNG Center of Excellence at McNeese State University. Additionally, Lake Charles has twice hosted the Americas LNG & Gas Summit & Exhibition.

All Kinds Of Cargo

Cargoes handled at port sites—such as City Docks and Bulk Terminal 1—include:

  • Exports of coke byproducts from local petroleum refining
  • Lumber imports
  • Export bagged and bulk grain
  • Industrial needs, such as limestone, rutile, barite, rubber, and chemical products
  • A variety of project, bulk/breakbulk, and industrial specialty cargoes

Also, the Southwest Louisiana Rail Facility (SLRF) paired with the port-owned Industrial Canal in Lake Charles. The SLRF load rough rice at the port property—a diversification that is opening new international markets for locally grown, unmilled rice.

Industrial Canal

The Industrial Canal at the Port of Lake Charles is one of two industrial parks owned and operated by the port. It is three miles long and has a 1,400-foot square turning basin at its east end with a depth of 12.2 meters (40 feet). The canal is dredged to a project depth of 40 feet and has a bottom width of 400 feet. A port-owned railroad provides rail service from Lake Charles to industries located on the canal.

By The Numbers

The port district and Calcasieu Ship Channel generate significant economic numbers:

  • Cargo moving via marine terminals along the Calcasieu Ship Channel in 2020 supported 158,485 jobs nationwide.
  • The Ship Channel supports $39 billion of total economic value to the U.S. economy annually, according to a 2021 economic impact study commissioned by the port.
  • In the time ahead, the Ship Channel will see $41 billion in future planned projects.

Visit www.allianceswla.org for more information.

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