Texas’ 11 deep-draft and eight shallow-draft maritime ports are critical to the economic growth of the state and are a key component 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 more than 2.3 million twenty-foot equivalent units and served nearly 2.2 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 $268.7 billion in economic activity throughout the state and $6.9 billion in state and local taxes each year, according to a 2015 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: