Like many harbors across the United States, the bad economy has hit the Port of Memphis hard in the last 4 recorded years. The period from 2006 to 2010 saw a 35% decrease in waterborne traffic in the Port of Memphis. However, an economic Impact study conducted in 2011 showed that the port’s influence continued to grow as the annual economic impact on the region reached a record high of $7.1 billion dollars. The volume may have decreased, but the value of the products being shipped increased dramatically.
The International Port of Memphis has six grain elevators which have 2,238 feet of berthing space, supplemented by 50 concrete silos and 25 steel tanks with storage capacity of over 12.3 million bushels. In the International Port of Memphis, liquid bulk commodities are handled by 18 facilities that have 6,313 feet of berthing space and approximately 130 storage tanks with a total capacity of 88,956,750 gallons.
In addition, the International Port of Memphis is home to the Valero petroleum refinery, the only refinery in the State of Tennessee. The refinery has a direct pipeline that carries jet fuel from the refinery located at the port to the Memphis International Airport.
In the International Port of Memphis, dry bulk commodities are handled by eight facilities with 4,404 feet of berthing space and storage capacity of approximately 581,000 tons. The port is also home to the United States Army, Corps of Engineers Ensley engineering yard. The yard is part of the Memphis district that covers 355 miles of the Mississippi, Arkansas and other waterways spanning over 25,000 square miles. The Ensley yard covers 157 acres and provides repair shops, warehousing, and administrative offices which support the fleet of over 33 vessels on a mile+ long string out in the slack water harbor.