Texas has 11 deep-draft ports, eight shallow-draft ports, and two recreational ports that are critical to the economic growth of the state and are key components of the state’s transportation system.
In 2018, Texas ports ranked second nationwide for total waterborne tonnage handled-- moving nearly 569 million ton of cargo, including 414 million tons of international cargo and 155 million tons of domestic cargo. Texas ports also handled 2.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units and served nearly two million cruise passengers. Five of the state’s ports are ranked in the top 20 U.S. ports by total tonnage, including:
- Port Houston (second)
- Port of Beaumont (fourth)
- Port of Corpus Christi (fifth)
- Port of Texas City (15th)
- Port of Port Arthur (17th)
Trade in Texas is a significant contributor to the state’s strong economic position. Texas ports generate nearly $450 billion in total economic value for the state and $7.8 billion in state and local taxes each year, according to a 2019 report by the Texas Ports Association.
Despite the strong position of the maritime industry in Texas, the need for additional funding for port capital improvement projects remains a significant need. The biennial Texas Ports Mission Plan developed by the Port Authority Advisory Committee includes an investment strategy and three major sub-reports.