Gulf Coast

A transformation has taken place at U.S. ports along Gulf of Mexico. Those devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 were forced to rebuild. Gulfport’s work is not yet finished. The Great Recession further impacted the region’s economy. The new bigger locks the Panama Canal offer hope for a resurgence of shipping activity along the U.S. Gulf Coast as ports gear up for new trade from Asia. While some ports are building container volumes in north-south trade and on routes to and from Europe, the Mediterranean, Mideast and Africa, others are targeting growth in breakbulk cargoes, and one port — Corpus Christi — is poised to see explosive growth in energy-based exports. With billions of dollars of agriculture products, pharmaceuticals and manufactured goods crossing the U.S. border with Mexico each year, logistics companies and railroads are looking at ways to ease and expand the flow of trade with the U.S.’s southern neighbor. This page includes information about the ports along the U.S. Gulf Coast, the region’s infrastructure projects, its trade and company supply chains.

Special Coverage

Port of Houston, Texas
Houston port is gearing up to handle a quantum leap in containerized exports of plastic resins that will be produced at the billions of dollars’ worth of petrochemical plants due to come on line in the next three or four years.

News & Analysis

03 May 2016
The West Coast ports’ share of Asia imports heading into the United States was shrinking even before congestion nearly paralyzed ports from Long Beach to Seattle last year.
01 May 2016
Ports will have to compete for business as never before over the next decade, Port of Long Beach CEO Jon Slangerup said.
13 Feb 2016
This spring’s arrival of three post-Panamax cranes at the Port of Gulfport, Mississippi, has been upstaged by a shipyard contract that’s expected to get the port off the hook for repayment of millions of dollars in hurricane relief funds.
Port of Savannah
03 Feb 2016
U.S. East Coast ports toppled the U.S. West Coast in international containerized ocean volume and market share for the first nine months of 2015, handling 47.1 percent of the 24 million TEUs moving through the U.S., while West Coast ports handled 44.5 percent.
01 Feb 2016
Cargo diversions from West Coast ports because of labor strife in early 2015 helped make a handful of East and Gulf Coast ports the fastest-growing in the nation last year.
20 Jan 2016
Despite watershed changes taking place in the shipping industry in 2016, the market share of containerized imports of East, West and Gulf Coast ports this year is set look a lot like it did during the second half of 2015, according to port and industry analysts.

Commentary

The International Longshoremen's Association, in opening the door to the possibility of a long-term contract, certainly is looking to capitalize on the congestion and raw memories of the recent past that have put West Coast ports in shipper crosshairs. The ILA, indeed, is preying on that shipper sentiment, and the soon-to-open expanded Panama Canal that could shift more cargo from West Coast to East Coast. And who can blame it? That’s business.

Video

Roger Guenther, executive director, Port of Houston Authority, discusses trade lane growth, specifically with Asia and South America, the renaissance in the energy sector, and planning for future expansions at the port.