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Gulf of Mexico Port Profile: Port of Houston

The Port of Houston is a 25-mile-long complex located on the southeast side of Houston. It connects to the Gulf of Mexico and is the country’s busiest port for foreign exports. In terms of total tonnage, it is the country’s second busiest port, trailing only the Port of South Louisiana. The port traffics over 200 million tons of goods each year.

Port of Houston Statistics

  • No. of major cargo container terminals – 5
  • No. of cargo container terminals – 2
  • Annual revenue - $168m (2006)
  • Net income - $42m (2006)
  • Economic activity - $499b (2006)
  • No. of direct and indirect jobs– 2.1m

International Trade Volume By Region

The Port of Houston is responsible for 11.7% of the nation’s total foreign tonnage, including 13.#5 of export tonnage and 10.4% of import tonnage.

Below is a breakdown of international trade in the Port of Houston.

  • Europe – 32%
  • Latin America – 22%
  • Asia – 15%
  • North America – 13%
  • Africa – 12%
  • Middle East – 7%

The largest individual export trading partners by tonnage in 2013 were:

  • Mexico – 11,080,906
  • Brazil – 9,161,760
  • Netherlands – 4,772,313
  • Chile – 3,940,467
  • Venezuela – 3,626,683

The largest individual import trading partners by tonnage in 2013 were:

  • Mexico – 21,715,326
  • Saudi Arabia – 5,151,604
  • Russia – 4,600,525
  • Colombia – 4,236,882
  • Iraq – 3,869,623

Largest Export Commodities (By Tonnage)

Below are the top five commodities that are exported out of the Port of Houston in 2013.

  • Petroleum & Petroleum Products – 54,068,408
  • Organic Chemicals – 10,451,034
  • Cereals – 6,277,342
  • Plastic -4,714,638
  • Iron/Steel Products – 1,629,196

Facts About The Port Of Houston

  • The Port of Houston was established in 1911
  • The Port of Houston contains the nations’ largest petrochemical complex.
  • The Port of Houston imports and exports more petroleum and petroleum products.
  • The Houston metro-area surpassed New York City in 2012 as the country’s top exporting region.
  • It is home to over 20,000 ship movements and 200,000 barge transits each year

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