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

Port of Mobile, Alabama.
Containerized cargo at Gulf ports is benefiting from a north-to-south shift in U.S. population growth, growth in the region’s automotive and chemical industries and investment in container-handling facilities.

News & Analysis

Cotton harvesting in Texas. Source: USDA, ARS. Photo by David Nance.
03 Jul 2014
The widening of the Panama Canal could eventually lead to a 90 percent increase in cotton exports for U.S. South Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports, and a 66 percent reduction in cotton exports through West Coast ports.
Port Freeport’s new cranes are on their way from Shanghai.
20 May 2014
No one could confuse Port Freeport, Texas, with a large, mainline port with direct services by mega-ships capable of carrying 8,000 20-foot container units.
20 May 2014
Robust April imports through several U.S. ports are at least partly related to initial effects of shippers accelerating import shipments to avoid potential disruption at West Coast ports tied to longshore labor negotiations.
Chiquita in Gulfport
15 May 2014
Chiquita Brands International will shift its Gulfport, Mississippi, calls, and an estimated 60,000 to 78,000 20-foot-equivalent units annually, to New Orleans next year.
08 May 2014
Leading the North America container trade in 2013 are the combined Southern California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, representing 27.3 perce
08 May 2014
Leading North America container Imports in 2013 are the combined Southern California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, representing 32.8 percent

Commentary

The United States needs better and more sustainable discretionary grant programs in order to fund innovative transportation investments across modes. Here are 10 possible improvements to the process.

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.