Port of Houston

Port of Houston

The Port of Houston is the major container gateway for Texas, and the 100 million people who live between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. It handles about two-thirds of all the containerized cargo in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

Servicing all major trading lanes, Houston offers shippers direct connections by highways (Interstates to both east and west coasts; and northwards to the midwest) and railways connecting Texas to the southeast, the midwest and the southwest. Mexico is the Greater Houston region’s top foreign trading partner, followed by China, Brazil, the Netherlands and South Korea.

Houston has long been considered the capital of virtually every segment of the US energy industry, including exploration, production, transmission, marketing, supply, and technology. As a result, the Port of Houston is a major gateway for US trade in petroleum products such as petrochemical resins used by industry. Texas also produces more cotton than any other state, and the city has long been a center of the cotton trade.

The Port of Houston’s two container-handling facilities are port-owned and operated. Barbours Cut Container Terminal, located at the mouth of Galveston Bay, is 3.5 hours sailing time to open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Its six berths provide 6,000 feet of continuous quay. The facility also includes a roll-on/roll-off platform, a LASH dock, over 200 acres of paved marshaling area and over 250,000 square feet of warehouse space. Intermodal rail service is available via the 42-acre near-dock rail ramp with working tracks and spurs connecting terminal warehouses.

Bayport Container Terminal, when fully developed, will have a total of seven container berths with the capacity to handle 2.3 million TEUs on a complex which includes 376 acres of container yard and a 123-acre intermodal facility. The terminal features electronic data interchange capabilities and a computerized inventory control system that tracks the status and location of individual containers.

The Port of Houston’s rail facility is located near the Barbours Cut Container Terminal dock. The primary railroad companies are BNSF, Union Pacific, and the PTRA (Port Terminal Railroad Association), which provides access to the industries along the Houston Ship Channel for railroads entering Houston. Straddling both sides of the Channel, PTRA services more than 200 local customers from 7 serving yards, while maintaining more than 150 miles of track and 20 bridges.

A surge in oil and gas drilling in West Texas has created a steady stream of cheap natural gas liquids to turn into feedstocks for plastics, building materials and consumer goods. Major Houston-area producers are investing billions of dollars in their local facilities to meet growing demand from Asia and South America.  

 

23 Aug 2022
Shippers who move cargo through Houston say more needs to be done to address how exports are handled in the face of surging import volumes that have also sucked up truck, yard, and chassis capacity.
port of Savannah.
18 Jan 2019
A slew of upgrades, efficiency improvements, and new services are all aimed at boosting business.
Industrial Terminals Houston.
18 Jan 2019
Oaktree, primary shareholder of now-insolvent Hansa Heavy Lift, in January became a key partner with Kansas-based transportation provider Watco Companies.
A truck with cargo at the Port of Los Angeles.
20 Dec 2018
As the initial experience indicates, North American port extended gates adoption, despite increasing container volume and truck congestion, is coming in fits and starts.
Port Houston
15 Nov 2018
Imports are important to Gulf ports’ growth because ocean carriers in the major east-west trades deploy capacity based on imports, which command freight rates about four times higher than exports.
Port Houston.
14 Nov 2018
In its decision, the port also offered information regarding what it would need to see to resume the program.
A resin plant in the United States.
16 Oct 2018
Last year, a hurricane stalled resin exports from the Gulf Coast. This year, rising trade tension between the US and China threatens one of resin’s largest markets.
A chemical plant.
09 Aug 2018
US chemical producers knew a sector boom would create logistics challenges. But what they did not anticipate was other growing sectors putting extreme pressure on US trucking as well, with a huge spillover to intermodal rail.
16 May 2018
Sponsored: At the 2018 TPM, John Moseley, Port Houston senior director of sales, discuss the potential impact of population growth, resin business expansion, and blockchain viability for the shipping industry. 
Cranes at Port Houston.
18 Apr 2018
Analysts at 3rd Annual JOC Gulf Shipping Conference in Houston see US Gulf imports increasing 8 percent this year, while exports should rise 2 percent, assuming no trade war occurs. Further, Gulf exports could exceed forecasts, if the long-delayed boom in exports of synthetic resins from the region materializes soon.
Intermodal Yard, Port of New Orleans.
13 Apr 2018
Without the delays of the nation’s other coasts, and with a growing population and the desire of companies to place inventory closer to customers, the US Gulf region’s ports have a competitive edge and are poised for business wins.
Resin plant at sunset.
29 Mar 2018
The long-delayed boom in plastic resin exports is forecast to finally arrive this year, sector officials say, and a second wave is likely by 2022. That is expected to create opportunities for ports on all three US seacoasts, but it will also stress port, truck, and intermodal rail operations.
Port of Houston.
10 Feb 2018
With the long-awaited boom in US production of synthetic resins expected to finally materialize this year, shippers are urging carriers to add more services from the Gulf to Asia. But will ocean carriers respond?
Port of Los Angeles.
09 Feb 2018
After a substantial gain in 2017, retailers are forecasting another increase in US container import volume in 2018, as container lines and beneficial cargo owners prepare for annual trans-Pacific rate and service contract negotiations.
Resin demand was expected to uptrend in 2017; that growth should appear this year.
02 Feb 2018
The factors that delayed resin export growth from the United States are largely transitory and the long-term thesis for increases remains intact, experts argue.
15 Dec 2017
Petrochemical producers have invested tens of billions of dollars into Gulf Coast plants that are starting to enter production and that are expected to substantially boost annual US resin exports.
20 Nov 2017
US Gulf ports’ share of the nation’s container trade has been inching up for several years.
01 Nov 2017
Houston is adjusting operations and investing heavily in infrastructure to meet heightened competition for US resin exports.
16 Oct 2017
Port of Houston Authority Senior Director of Trade Development John Mosley describes the port's quick rebound from the de
02 Oct 2017
Barbours Cut to follow as port prepares for volume growth.
29 Sep 2017
Port may use joint study with corps to tweak dredging plans.
15 Sep 2017
“Whenever the business volumes reach the top quadrant, there will be chassis shortages, and that’s where we are now.”
05 Sep 2017
The US Coast Guard on Tuesday reopened the Sabine-Neches Waterway.
04 Sep 2017
Terminals handle container ships during holiday weekend.
01 Sep 2017
The reopening of terminals, repairs to rail lines, and moves toward more normal vessel operations are important steps in untangling supply chains twisted by Hurricane Harvey.
01 Sep 2017
Export supply chains for synthetic resins have resumed limited operations.
31 Aug 2017
Ship pilots planned to begin guiding smaller ships through the Houston Ship Channel on Thursday.
31 Aug 2017
This resource includes customer updates from logistics companies and transportation providers, and ways people can contribute to charitable organizations to help those affected by the storm and flooding.
30 Aug 2017
Experts say Hurricane Harvey will push truck rates higher as recovery efforts consume capacity and supply chains are rerouted.
30 Aug 2017
Houston and several other Texas and Louisiana ports hope to restart operations by Labor Day.
29 Aug 2017
Logistics impacts from flooding in Houston and other parts of southeast Texas continue to spread.
28 Aug 2017
Truck rates may spike as they did after Katrina.
27 Aug 2017
Truck, rail, water, and air transport are shut down.
25 Aug 2017
Cargo transportation providers along the Texas coast are preparing for major disruptions from Hurricane Harvey.
17 Aug 2017
After the new yard’s scheduled opening next July, the port authority will take over TLT’s current 14-acre site.
16 Aug 2017
The offering starts Aug. 27 and lasts eight weeks.