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Texas Ports

Texas ports play a critical role in the state’s transportation system and are a key part of the state’s economy.

  • Texas Gulf Coast ports handle more than 550 million tons of foreign and domestic cargo each year — 20 percent of all U.S. port tonnage.
  • Texas ports generate $270 billion in economic activity and $6 billion in state and local taxes per year, according to the Texas Ports Association.
  • Seven Texas ports rank in the top 50 of all U.S. ports in terms of annual tonnage, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, including Houston (2nd), Beaumont (6th), Corpus Christi (7th) and Texas City (11th).
  • The Port of Galveston ranked as the fourth-largest U.S. cruise market based on embarkation, with more than 863,000 passengers and crew in 2012.

The use of Texas waterways is forecast to continue to increase — fueled by the scheduled 2015 expansion of the Panama Canal, the surge in the state's population and more worldwide waterborne trade.

To help Texas ports remain competitive and prepare for growth, the Maritime Division serves as a resource for state ports and works to address statewide maritime needs. The division also participates in the Texas Freight Advisory Committee to coordinate the planning efforts of freight movement through ports and waterways.

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