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West Gulf Maritime Association Membership Meeting
by Jim Guidry
Thursday, May 29, 2014

Port of Beaumont Director and CEO Chris Fisher was the featured guest at Wednesday’s monthly membership meeting of the West Gulf Maritime Association.

Fisher was introduced by WGMA Vice President Niels Aalund Listen (1:57)

“I’ve been in this business a while; I’ve been around regionally and nationally and I have consistently heard positive things about the Port of Beaumont,” Aalund said, citing customer service and the port’s staff.  “I know those folks well.  When you call you get prompt answers, they try to work with you; they try to be proactive.”

Fisher reported that several billion dollars of public and private growth is expected along the Sabine-Neches Waterway that connects the Port of Beaumont to the Gulf of Mexico. Listen (31:17)

He said that in the Water Resources Development Act, which has been approved by Congress and requires only President Barack Obama’s signature to become law, includes $748 million in funding for deepening of the waterway.  “This will allow us larger ships and a more efficient channel, and quite a bit of growth along the Sabine-Neches Waterway.”

Fisher reported that the Port of Beaumont handles approximately 4 million tons of cargo on the public docks and wharves in a normal year, servicing about 200 vessels, up to 30,000 rail cars and ten to twelve thousand trucks. The port handles bulk grain, ash product for aggregates, military cargo, steel products and general break bulk cargo, as well as wood bulk from Brazil and bagged goods.

“We are still the number one military cargo port in the world, right now,” Fisher said.

He reported on the port's projects, including expansion of its operations in Orange County and work with the City of Beaumont to facilitate development of the city’s new downtown Riverfront Park.

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