Robert Portiss, director of the City of Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority, was recently named a White House Transportation Champion of Change at a ceremony in Washington D.C. for his work in forging a partnership between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Arkansas-Oklahoma Port Operators Association.
An editorial in the Oct. 13 Tulsa World described Portiss’ work on Oklahoma’s largest seaport, saying “Portiss has been the driving force and head cheerleader for the Port of Catoosa almost since it opened.”
Located just outside Catoosa, Oklahoma, the Port of Catoosa is the head of navigation of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. The port itself is home to Foreign Trade Zone 53, where foreign goods and domestic products are considered outside of the U.S. Customs official territory, making goods inside the FTZ international commerce.
The Tulsa Port of Catoosa has an economic impact of $300 million on Oklahoma, with nearly 5.7 million tons of freight traveling the Oklahoma portions of the waterway in 2012 alone. Customers send and receive more than 2.2 million tons of cargo each year by barge, rail and truck. With more than 60 companies employing more than 4,000 Oklahomans, the Tulsa Port of Catoosa is one of the premier economic engines of Oklahoma. Costing $1.3 billion to complete in 1971, it was the most expensive civil works project ever undertaken by the U.S. Army Corps of Eningeers. To date, more than $1.5 billion has been invested at the port by private industry, supporting jobs across the northeast parts of Oklahoma.