The CalCasieu Ship Channel

The Calcasieu Ship Channel is highly important to our economy and our community. After all, it is a place for work, a place for fun, and a place where we live. The Lake Charles Pilots help to protect all of these by safely navigating crude oil, gasoline, liquefied natural gas (-260°F), chemicals, aggregate, bulk agricultural, and bulk pet-coke through the ship channel to our ports. We have intrusted these highly skilled professionals to protect our Calcasieu Ship Channel from devastation.

Considering the amount of tonnage handled by the Port of Lake Charles, (ranked 11th in the country), and related industries, such as PPG, CMS Energy, Conoco and Citgo, the Calcasieu Ship Channel has one of the finest safety records in the United States. The Lake Charles Pilots and the Lake Charles Bar Pilots intend to keep it that way.

  • 400 feet wide and 40 feet deep
  • A very narrow waterway
  • Effected by tide and current (some extreme)
  • Has multiple difficult turns
  • Often busy with a variety of traffic
  • Natural and man-made
  • Shared for both pleasure and industrial traffic
  • One of the busiest Ports in the country
  • 11th largest Port in the country - based on tonnage
Today's ships are more than double the size of the Hibernia tower in Downtown Lake Charles.
Vessels have grown in size considerably since 1926 which makes a Pilot's job much more difficult.