The Port of Houston is a 25-mile-long complex of diversified public and private facilities located just hours by ship from the Gulf of Mexico.
Port Houston is ranked first in the United States in foreign waterborne tonnage and is a leader in U.S. export tonnage. The port also is the leading breakbulk port in the country and is known for its strong, reliable workforce.
The greater Port of Houston is made up of the public terminals owned, managed and leased by the Port of Houston Authority, along with the 190-plus private industrial companies along the 52-mile long Houston Ship Channel. Each year, more than 241 million tons of cargo move through the Port of Houston, carried by more than 8,000 vessels and 200,000 barges.
With over 20,000 feet of berth space at the port’s Turning Basin, the port’s city docks are authorized for 5 million square feet of foreign trade zone for breakbulk and project cargo. The port can handle a variety of general cargo including steel, oil and gas equipment, wind energy products, automobiles and heavy lift cargoes. Houston is the national leader for breakbulk cargo due to the large laydown areas located adjacent to the general cargo and heavy lift docks. Port Houston also has 1.1 million square feet of shed space for covered storage and 52 total docks suitable for breakbulk cargo operations.
Other breakbulk facilities in Port Houston’s portfolio include Jacintoport, Care Terminal and Woodhouse Terminal.
The port has seen continued strength in the steel trade in 2018, mainly import pipe, which had increased 29 percent from 2017 by the second quarter of this year.
Port Houston is also the host port sponsor for the Breakbulk Americas conference in Houston, the biggest show for project cargo and breakbulk transportation specialists in the Americas. It will feature special events, workshops and one of the largest trade and maritime exhibition halls of its kind.
As one of the world’s busiest ports, Port Houston is a large and vibrant component of the regional economy. A 2014 study by Martin Associates found Houston Ship Channel-related businesses contribute more than one million jobs throughout Texas. This activity has helped generate more than $265 billion in statewide economic impact. Additionally, more than $5 billion in state and local tax revenues are generated by business activities related to the port.
The port has been instrumental in the city of Houston’s development as a center of international trade. It is home to sprawling petrochemical complex, the largest in the nation and second largest in the world. Carrier services on all major trade lanes link Houston to international markets around the globe. The ship channel also intersects a very busy barge traffic lane, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
Companies that do business internationally also find Houston attractive because of its well-developed financial infrastructure, skilled work force and diverse population. Ample space and favorable conditions for industrial development, as well as for cargo handling, make Houston a choice location for industry.
Centrally located on the Gulf Coast, Houston is a strategic gateway for cargo originating in or destined for the U.S. West and Midwest. Houston lies within close reach of one of the nation’s largest concentrations of consumers. More than 25 million people live within 300 miles of the city, and approximately 141 million live within 1,000 miles. Ample truck, rail and air connections allow shippers to economically transport their goods between Houston and inland points.
Port of Houston