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Tulsa port shipping down fifth straight month

Tulsa port shipping down fifth straight month

This article first appeared in the Journal Record

March 20, 2009

TULSA – Shipping at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa declined for a fifth straight month in February, slipping 0.9 percent from year-ago results.

That left 2009 tonnage down 6.3 percent from the first two months of last year.

Port officials have noted their 2,500-acre facility, home to more than 60 companies with an estimated 4,000 employees, is not immune to the national recession.

“We hope to see our barge shipping numbers increase in the near future for all the industries that regularly ship into and out of the Tulsa Port of Catoosa,” said Ed Fariss, chairman of the City of Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority. “Certainly construction projects precipitated by the government’s stimulus spending should result in more shipments of iron and steel through the port.”

The port handled 254,900 tons last month on 156 barges, down from 257,283 tons on 161 barges in February 2008. Inbound shipping rose 7.9 percent to 101,843 tons on 67 barges, while outbound product dropped 6 percent to 153,057 tons moved on 89 barges.

Port officials said inbound shipments of dry bulk fertilizer were strong in February, a seasonal trend in preparation for spring planting.

Barges moved about 12,000 more tons of wheat last month than they handled in January due to futures contracts delivery obligations.

Through the first two months of 2008, the port shipped 491,240 tons of material on 299 barges.

The Tulsa Port of Catoosa is the farthest inland port on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, a 445-mile waterway linking Oklahoma not only to the nation’s 25,000-mile inland waterway system but to New Orleans and the international ports it serves.

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