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 handled more than 563 million tons of foreign and domestic cargo in 2015 — approximately 22 percent of all U.S. port tonnage.
  • Texas ports generate $368.7 billion in economic activity in the state and $6.9 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. Army Corps of Engineers, including Houston (2nd), Beaumont (5th), Corpus Christi (6th) and Texas City (15th).
  • The Port of Galveston ranked as the fourth-largest U.S. cruise market based on embarkation, with more than 834,000 passengers in 2015.

The use of Texas waterways is forecast to continue to increase — fueled by the 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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