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; the Maritime Division works to promote the development and intermodal connectivity of each of these.
In 2019, Texas ports ranked first nationwide for total waterborne tonnage handled-- moving nearly 598 million ton of cargo, including 446 million tons of international cargo and 180 million tons of domestic cargo. Texas ports also handled nearly three million twenty-foot equivalent unit containers and served nearly 500,000 cruise passengers. Five of the state’s ports are ranked in the top 20 U.S. ports by total tonnage, including:
- Port Houston (1st)
- Port of Corpus Christi (4th)
- Port of Beaumont (5th)
- Port of Texas City (16th)
- Port of Port Arthur (19th)
The Texas Port Profiles highlight more statistics related to each ports’ primary commodities, vessel and truck traffic, and port facilities.
Trade in Texas is a significant contributor to the state’s strong economic position. According to a 2019 report by the Texas Ports Association, more than 128,000 Texas jobs are directly related to seaport operations. In total, 5.4 million jobs are generated from economic activity dependent on the state’s ports. These jobs generate more than $285 billion in personal income and local consumption, while the port industry contributes $80 billion annually in federal, state, and local tax revenues.
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.