For more than 100 years, Port Houston has owned and operated the public wharves and terminals along the Houston Ship Channel, including the area’s largest breakbulk facility and two of the most efficient container terminals in the country. Port Houston is the advocate and a strategic leader for the Channel. The Houston Ship Channel complex and its more than 200 public and private terminals, collectively known as the Port of Houston, is the nation’s largest port for waterborne tonnage and an essential economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas and the U.S.
The Port of Houston supports the creation of nearly 1.35 million jobs in Texas and 3.2 million jobs nationwide, and economic activity totaling $339 billion in Texas – 20 percent of Texas’ total gross domestic product (GDP) – and $801.9 billion in economic impact across the nation.
Being the largest port on the Gulf Coast and the biggest port in Texas, the Port of Houston has been instrumental in the city of Houston’s development for international trade. It is home to a multi-billion petrochemical complex, the largest in the nation and second largest in the world. Carrier services on all major trade lanes link Houston to international markets around the globe. The ship channel also intersects a very busy barge traffic lane, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
Centrally located on the Gulf Coast, Houston is a strategic gateway for cargo originating in or destined for the U.S. West and Midwest. Houston lies within close reach of one of the nation’s largest concentrations of 156 million consumers within 1,000 miles. Ample truck, rail and air connections allow shippers to economically transport their goods between Port Houston and inland points.
The port is vital to the local, state and national economy and the maintenance and improvements of the public facilities ensures its continued economic impacts. Keeping the port secure so that business can flow freely is also an essential responsibility. As the local sponsor of the Houston Ship Channel, the Port Authority plays an important role in the management and environmental stewardship of this important waterway.