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Port of Houston


Leonard “Len” Waterworth
Executive Director

For nearly 100 years, the Port of Houston Authority has owned/operated the public cargo-handling facilities of the Port of Houston–the nation’s largest port in terms of foreign waterborne tonnage. The port has historically been an economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas and the nation. The port contributes to the creation of more than one million statewide and more than 2.1 million nationwide jobs and the generation of more than $178.5 billion of statewide and $499 billion of nationwide economic activity.

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With two-thirds of the state’s population located within a 300-mile radius, The Port of Houston offers a central location for reaching the heartland of America.

The Port of Houston Authority (PHA) owns a total of eight public cargo-handling terminals located along the 52-mile-long Houston Ship Channel. With six general cargo facilities and two container terminals, the diverse cargo-handling capabilities at the docks of the Port Authority make Houston the U. S. Gulf Coast leader in maritime shipping and logistics. The Port of Houston is the number one container port on the U.S. Gulf and the seventh largest container port in the country. With all-water services to the Far East, Latin America and Euro-Med, the port is a major container gateway for Houston, for Texas, and for all of the 100 million people who live between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains.

Its balanced import and export trade also provides economical match-back opportunities and efficiencies. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Houston is the second-largest customs district in terms of the export merchandise value–$127 billion in 2012. Its massive petrochemical complex utilizes the port’s container terminals to export large volumes of plastics and chemicals. Other containerized exports include machinery, food and drink and raw cotton, as well as standard backfill exports.

Ongoing projects to service Post-Panamax vessels at its two container facilities will position the Port of Houston Authority for the containerships of the future.

Bayport Container Terminal: The most modern and environmentally sensitive container terminal on the U.S. Gulf provides customers cost-effective, efficient cargo handling. At build-out, this state-of-the-art terminal will have a total of seven container berths with the capacity to handle 3 million TEUs on a complex which includes 376 acres of container yard. The master plan also includes a 123-acre intermodal transfer facility that will be built based upon demand. A computerized inventory control system tracks the status and location of individual containers. The terminal also features electronic data interchange capabilities.

Barbours Cut Container Terminal: One of the top container-handling facilities in the U.S. Gulf since 1977 is in the process of being modernized. A $700 million project to upgrade this critical facility is under way to include: Super-Post-Panamax cranes, lights and dock improvements to continue to provide customers efficient cargo handling and a total capacity of 2 million TEUs.

With a 45-foot-deep federal channel that today accommodates Post-Panamax vessels and planned widening and deepening projects at our container terminals, Houston is big-ship ready. The Bayport terminal channel will be widened by up to 100 feet in the bay and 50 feet in the land cut and increase channel depth by five feet to 45 feet to match the depth of the Houston Ship Channel. The Barbours Cut terminal channel project includes widening from 150 feet to 225 feet and increased channel depth to 45 feet.

Extensive intermodal rail infrastructure provides easy access to four nearby terminals served by BNSF, KCS and UP. Weekly service to Dallas is available via the Barbours Cut near dock rail facility. The container terminal locations also provide immediate access to the major interstate highways and air-freight connections.

Port of Houston Authority
111 East Loop North
Houston, TX 77029
Phone: 713-670-2400
www.portofhouston.com