Port of Catoosa announces big business

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Reported by: Farron Salley
Updated: 2/26 6:06 pm Published: 2/26 4:59 pm

CATOOSA, Okla. - The Port of Catoosa is bringing in big business to the area.

In 2013, officials told FOX23 it brought in $1.35 billion in commerce.

FOX23 learned a record number of employees are working for the Port of Catoosa.

More than 4,000 people are based in Catoosa and more than double that across the waterways.

“There’s roughly 8,000 employees along the waterway, so it's a big economic driver for this region,” said David Page, the Port Authority chairman.

Page showed FOX23 where the compound is expanding.

“Our trends indicate that it would go up in 2014,” he said.

The growth for 3012 was flat, but driving through the 2,500-acre compound, there’s evidence the port is still reaping the benefits from a business boom in 2012.

“2012 was a big growth year for us and largely because we had almost a new category of freight which is crude oil,” said Page.

Page explained the biggest threat to growth in profits would be problems with the system and equipment.

“The impact to our region, to Oklahoma is $2 million a day if there’s a failure in the system, if the system goes down,” he said.

And he said there's a 50-50 chance of that happening along the McClellan-Kerr navigation system.

While they work with the state and federal government for money to improve that, they'll also focus on improving the port compound.

The port is going to be expanding by about 45 acres so leaders think that employment will continue to grow.

Seventy industries operate at the Port of Catoosa. They carried about 2.7 tons of cargo on water last year.

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