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.  


01 Nov 2022
The Gulf Coast ports of Houston and Mobile are the fastest and third-fastest growing gateways for US imports of Asian goods as shippers look to diversify away from the West Coast, regardless of the outcome of longshore labor talks.
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.
10 Aug 2017
CMA CGM has scheduled additional sailings on its routes between Asia and the US Gulf and South Atlantic coasts.
04 Aug 2017
Change takes effect on Oct. 2. Longer hours at Barbours Cut to be phased in later.
27 Jul 2017
Surcharge comes as ports, carriers prepare for surge in synthetic resin exports.
30 Jun 2017
The port is in the midst of a $1 billion expansion and renovation program.
20 May 2017
Though two trans-Pacific services were added to the US Gulf last year, questions persist about whether there will be enough ship capacity to handle the resins exports demand.
18 May 2017
Legislation would let resin exporters load additional cargo into containers.
13 May 2017
New Panama Canal services from Asia are helping to fuel steady growth in Gulf ports’ single-digit share of US containerized imports.
01 May 2017
The US Maritime Administration has encouraged the use of coastal and inland waterways for containers, with mixed results.
28 Apr 2017
Twenty-two days of heavy fog during January and February weren't enough to stop growth at Port Houston.
17 Mar 2017
This week Bahri opened a previously announced office in Houston’s “Energy Corridor.”
30 Jan 2017
Widening 'Bayport flare' is project's final step.
30 Jan 2017
TRAC Intermodal this month became the latest company to introduce lightweight chassis in Houston.
25 Jan 2017
Which routes will shippers use for increased US resin exports?
05 Dec 2016
Port Houston’s hopes of dominating an expected boom in US plastic-resin exports during the next few years will hinge on increased US-Asia container ship capacity — and higher freight rates to justify it.
27 Nov 2016
The Port of Houston will experience a pivotal 2017 as new and expanded petrochemical plants in the area start churning out what soon could be an additional 500,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units of annual plastic resin exports.
26 Nov 2016
US Gulf ports have gotten a taste of Asian all-water container services and are hungry for more.
17 Nov 2016
The Port of Houston is losing a preposition and gaining a new marketing name.
09 Nov 2016
Things could be better, but they also could be a lot worse for breakbulk and project cargo shipping in US Gulf ports.
09 Nov 2016
Inbesa America Inc., which operates a large private breakbulk steel terminal at Jacintoport in the Port of Houston, has been acquired by Contanda Steel LLC for an undisclosed price.
07 Nov 2016
Texas port is preparing for increase in plastic resin exports.
04 Oct 2016
Saudi Arabia-based Bahri has opened a Houston office and is targeting the US Gulf and Mexico.
An effort to get approval for heavier trucks on Texan roadways failed in the legislature in 2015, but a second effort is now underway.
23 Sep 2016
A heavyweight fight is shaping up in the Texas Legislature over proposals to allow trucks to carry heavier loads over the state’s highways.
22 Sep 2016
The Port of Houston Authority said Hanjin Shipping containers at the port have been cleared for release.
The latest batch of Hanjin Shipping containers at the Port of Houston is not expected to be stranded for long.
21 Sep 2016
The Port of Houston Authority said Hanjin Shipping had agreed to pay terminal charges to clear the way for the port authority’s release of 380 Hanjin containers.
20 Sep 2016
Port authority says bankrupt carrier has paid terminal charges.
19 Sep 2016
Carrier's boxes aren't being allowed in or out of port's terminal gates.
09 Sep 2016
The Port of Houston Authority is exploring the possible use of an innovative technology that would move containers to and from port terminals.
27 Jul 2016
The Port of Houston’s overall container volume passed 1 million 20-foot-equivalent units for the first half of the year.
30 Jun 2016
New direction for trucker-owned chassis cooperative.