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.
12 May 2013
The boom in U.S. oil and gas production is transforming the infrastructure needed to deliver carbon-based fuels throughout the U.S. and especially in the Gulf ports that have traditionally served as gateways for crude oil imports.
30 Apr 2013
Jonathan Daniels, executive director of the Port of Oswego, N.Y., since 2007,
Cranes at Prince Rupert
26 Apr 2013
The United States may be the trade capital of the world, but if you’re looking for North America’s fastest-growing container ports, you’ll have to look north and south of its borders.
17 Apr 2013
Employers ratified a six-year master contract for International Longshoremen’s Association members at East and Gulf Coast ports, giving final approval to a deal that ILA members approved last week.
Port of Houston's Barbours Cut Container Terminal.
10 Apr 2013
Union Pacific has introduced an intermodal service between Barbours Cut Container Terminal in the Port of Houston and Dallas.


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.


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.