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.

News & Analysis

04 Jan 2021
Expecting a return to volume growth, the ports of Houston and New Orleans are dredging and enhancing terminals to allow calls from larger vessels, while Tampa Bay will add capacity through new truck gates and additional gantry cranes, among other projects.
23 Dec 2020
Unprecedented trans-Pacific volumes and steadily growing exports of petrochemicals, agricultural products, and resins have prompted members of THE Alliance to launch a new direct service between Asia and the US Gulf.
18 Dec 2020
A weekly service will carry 53-foot domestic intermodal containers between Tampa and Brownsville, Texas, for cross-border shipments between the United States and Mexico.
16 Nov 2020
The intensity of Asia import flow is also shifting on the West Coast as volumes in October rose more sharply through the Northwest Seaport Alliance than though Southern California.
02 Nov 2020
The busiest US Gulf Coast ports saw only a small decline in throughput during the first seven months of the year despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumer demand in the US and abroad.
16 Jun 2020
Port Tampa Bay has received almost $20 million in a federal grant to help construct a second 1,300-foot berth and a 30-acre container yard, key elements of its plan to increase capacity to handle three Asian direct services.
10 Jun 2020
The focus of IPI has been moving away from the US West Coast toward the East Coast and Western Canada. This has big implications for individual railroads, but also broader impacts regarding shorter length of haul and diminishing industry revenue per move.
24 Apr 2020
The need to widen the channel gained urgency last year when a group of non-container businesses that rely on the port expressed concerns their cargoes would be squeezed by the increasing size and number of container ships moving through Houston.
14 Apr 2020
The strong growth in US resin exports of the last two years could falter in 2020 as overseas production gets cheaper due to the fall in oil prices and demand weakens amid the global recessionary pressures from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
13 Apr 2020
The ports of Houston, Mobile, and New Orleans will likely find the strong growth they enjoyed in 2019 difficult to replicate this year as US ports confront the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on supply chains.
24 Jan 2020
Port of New Orleans Commercial Director Janine Mansour joins JOC's Janet Nodar to announce the return of the Breakbulk an
19 Nov 2019
The acquisition of Emergent Cold gives US-based Lineage Logistics greater access to Asian markets and facilities at three US ports.
01 Nov 2019
Port of New Orleans Commercial Director Janine Mansour on the 2019 reality of the long-awaited resin boom, expansion plans, inland logistics, volume-related equipment challenges.
30 Sep 2019
Falling behind on connectivity for import/export cargo can easily trigger the negative feedback loop, eventually leading to elimination of the regular liner services.
20 Aug 2019
AGL Chief Executive Jon Slangerup addresses reactive responses to tariff uncertainty and the vital first step in using new technology for supply chain optimization.
16 Aug 2019
Gulf Stream Marine Vice President Tony Jaworski and Business Development Manager Brett Holliday discuss the Logistic stevedore and terminal operator's expectations for steel trade, wind energy, and consolidation.
02 Aug 2019
Centralized cargo consolidation makes Mexico City dominant in industrial development, but growing port volumes may change that over time.
03 Jul 2019
Sponsored: Port NOLA's Vice President/CCO Bobby Landry discusses the return of Breakbulk Conference to New Orleans, acquisition of New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, tariff impacts, and expanding cargo handling capabilities.
27 Jun 2019
Sponsored: Patrick Maher, executive vice president of trucking and logistics company Gulf Winds Internat
21 May 2019
The Texas Legislature’s House of Representatives on Friday approved legislation that would prohibit ships of 9,500 TEU or greater from entering the channel without prior approval from the port pilots’ board.
20 May 2019
Texas lawmakers have backed legislation that limit vessels in the channel that leads to the Port of Houston to 1,100 feet, unless port pilots say that such a mega-vessel can safely and efficiently move up the channel in two way traffic.
12 Apr 2019
Jorge Luis Quijano, administrator and chief executive of the Panama Canal Authority, said shipping lines don’t like the uncertainty of what could happen if International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) continue to oppose automation
29 Mar 2019
As exports from the region waned, expansion of all-water services from Asia and a boom in import distribution facilities contributed to double-digit growth in imports to US Gulf ports last year.
Veracruz port.
31 Jan 2019
The growth in Mexican container volumes has slowed as cargo through Pacific ports rises faster than the Gulf Coast's ports for first time in five years.
A wind farm in the United States.
30 Jan 2019
Several US ports, many in the Gulf, are expecting a surge in wind cargo during the next 24 months.
A petrochemical plant.
30 Jan 2019
The US petrochemical buildout is being driven by the availability of cheap ethane.
Project logistics.
21 Jan 2019
At 2019’s outset, adequate global growth and demand bode well for project logistics, but potential pitfalls also exist.
Chassis stacked.
16 Jan 2019
Chassis are one piece of the puzzle, and all parts must fit together in sync for the supply chain to remain smooth in the future.
A resin plant at sunset.
02 Jan 2019
Althougth US-China trade tension can affect demand, there are several reasons US resin exporters remain bullish for 2019.
13 Aug 2018
Sponsored: Craig Mygatt, Sealand CEO, speaks to Mexico-US trade as well as the impact of polyethylene pl
11 Aug 2018
Sponsored: At the 2018 JOC Gulf Shipping Conference, CAI Logistics Senior Vice President Jason Miller de
28 Jun 2018
Sponsored: Dunavant Global Logistics Group COO Richard McDuffie on US-China tariffs, Gulf resins, infrastructure, and ELD impact on capacity.
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. 
09 Mar 2018
Although the International Longshoremen's Association has not had a coastwide strike since 1977, beneficial cargo owners are anxious to have a new agreement in place.
Houston skyline from Port Houston.
01 Mar 2018
Logistec’s previous operations were centered in Canada and on the US East Coast.
24 Nov 2017
With land and location, Brownsville is on the verge of attracting multibillion-dollar projects.


Vessel capacity remains the overriding concern about whether the Port of Houston will be able to handle the wave of plastic resins exports that will add half a million TEU annually to export volumes within a few years.