Gulf Coast

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

Dockworker at the Port of Savannah
The new or extended contract being explored by International Longshoremen’s Association and its East and Gulf Coast employers could run until 2025, seven years beyond the current agreement’s 2018 expiration.

News & Analysis

Port of Houston
12 Jun 2015
U.S. Gulf ports’ container traffic started strong in 2015, with more than a little help from slowdowns and congestion that hobbled West Coast ports and made shippers look for alternatives.
13 Feb 2015
President Obama’s proposal to restore U.S.-Cuba diplomatic trade relations has kindled interest in increased shipments between the nations, and is raising hopes among Gulf ports and shippers that a new market could develop almost in their front yard.
12 Feb 2015
Texas and Louisiana ports believe they’re still early in what they expect to be an extended boom in exports of chemical products produced in the region with cheap U.S. natural gas.
Port of New Orleans
03 Feb 2015
The Port of New Orleans reported an 8.8 percent increase in container volume in 2014 and said it expects additional gains this year from the new carrier services.
15 Dec 2014
A surge in import traffic has led the Port of Houston Authority to extend its container terminal operating hours.
10 Oct 2014
With an eye toward the 2016 expansion of the Panama Canal, Houston and other Gulf of Mexico ports are investing to expand their capacity to handle the larger ships that will transit the canal’s new locks.

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.