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  May 5th, 2024 | Written by

Port of Lake Charles Surges into Top 10 US Ports for Cargo Handling

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The Port of Lake Charles has catapulted into the ranks of the nation’s top 10 busiest ports, according to the latest data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ waterborne commerce statistics for 2022. This significant achievement is fueled by substantial gains in cargo throughput, positioning Lake Charles among the elite players in maritime commerce.

The updated top-10 list showcases Lake Charles alongside prominent ports such as Houston, South Louisiana, and Corpus Christi.

Here is the latest top-10 list:

1. Houston

2. South Louisiana

3. Corpus Christi

4. New York/New Jersey

5. Long Beach, California

6. New Orleans

7. Beaumont

8. Baton Rouge

9. Virginia

10. Lake Charles

Notably, Lake Charles secured its spot by handling a remarkable 64.2 million short tons of cargo, reflecting a remarkable 32.7 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Breaking down the numbers, the Port of Lake Charles saw notable gains in both domestic and foreign cargo handling. Domestic cargo surged to 29.3 million short tons, marking a substantial 34 percent uptick, while foreign cargo reached 34.8 million short tons, representing a commendable 31.5 percent increase.


This ascent in rankings places Lake Charles ahead of the Port of Los Angeles, underscoring its growing prominence in the maritime landscape. Among the four Louisiana ports featured in the top 10, Lake Charles stands out as a key player in facilitating diverse cargo operations.

Officially known as the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District, the port boasts a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1926. Central to its operations is the management of the Calcasieu Ship Channel, a vital waterway stretching 36 miles inland and extending 32 miles into the Gulf of Mexico.

Spanning an expansive 203 square miles, the port district serves as a crucial gateway for bulk, breakbulk, specialty, and project cargo. From international lumber shipments to global industrial demands, Lake Charles caters to a diverse array of maritime activities, earning its reputation as “America’s Energy Corridor.”

Notably, the port’s strategic location has positioned it as the leading LNG export area worldwide. The marine cargo activity along the Ship Channel not only drives economic prosperity but also supports a staggering $39 billion in total economic value to the U.S. economy. A significant portion of this economic impact, amounting to $29.9 billion, is attributed to Louisiana, with Calcasieu and Cameron parishes alone contributing approximately $12 billion, representing 67 percent of the region’s GDP.

In light of its impressive performance and economic significance, the Port of Lake Charles emerges as a pivotal player in the nation’s maritime landscape, poised to continue its trajectory of growth and success in the years to come.