From Us To The World

The Port of Houston has transformed the city into one of the world’s premier locations for international trade. Not only is it the largest Texas port, but it is also the number one foreign trading port in the United States by tonnage. The port plays a critical role in supporting the Houston and Texas economies - nearly $5.7 billion in state and local tax revenues are generated by business activities related to the port.

Bayport Terminal A major deepwater port that is designed to handle standardized cargo containers and offload the nearby Barbours Cut Terminal, which has no further room for expansion. Bayport Industrial Park A large commercial real-estate development that is one of the two industrial districts in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of La Porte (the other being the Battleground Industrial District). Major facilities in the district include the LyondellBasell site, the Celanese/Air Products/Clariant/Dow site, and the Albemarle/Akzo Nobel site. Barbours Cut Container Terminal One of the premier container-handling facilities in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The terminal’s six berths provide 6,000 feet of continuous quay, and the facility also includes a roll-on/roll-off platform, a LASH dock, 230 acres of paved marshaling area and 255,000 square feet of warehouse space. DuPont An American chemical company formed by the merger of Dow Chemical and E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company on August 31, 2017, and the subsequent spinoffs of Dow Inc. and Corteva. Prior to the spinoffs, it was the world's largest chemical company in terms of sales. PraxAir An American worldwide industrial gases company. It was the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and the third-largest worldwide by revenue. Shell Oil Company Deer Park Refinery A fully integrated refinery and chemical plant with about 1,500 employees and 1,200 contractors that covers 2,300 acres. Annually, an average of more than 2,500 vessels are loaded or off-loaded at the site, which represents about 100 million barrels (4 billion gallons) of crude oil and products for the refinery and chemical plant. Valero The refinery is a mid-sized plant with a total throughput capacity of 235,000 barrels per day and produces a wide range of petroleum products. The refinery has access to major product pipelines including Colonial, TEPPCO, Orion and Explorer and employs approximately 450 personnel. Lyondell Petrochemical Manufacturer and marketer of a broad spectrum of petrochemicals, ranging from olefins--mostly propylene, ethylene, butadiene, and butylenes--to aromatics, methanol, and specialty products, as well as refined petroleum products including jet fuel, gasoline, heating oil, and lubricants. ARCO Chemical Manufacturer of intermediate chemicals used in a broad range of consumer and industrial products. Major chemicals include propylene oxide, used in a variety of plastics, foams, and paints; tertiary butyl alcohol, used in the production of oxygenated fuels that are blended with gasoline to reduce emissions and improve octane; and styrene, used in the production of insulation, foam cups, and engineering resins. Ashland Chemical An American chemical company that operates in more than 100 countries. The company currently has five wholly-owned divisions, which include Chemical Intermediates and Solvents, Composites, Industrial Specialties, Personal and Home Care, & Pharmaceuticals, Food and Beverage, and Agriculture. Exxon Mobile Bayport One of the largest integrated and most technologically advanced refining and petrochemical complexes in the world. The complex is located on approximately 3,400 acres and has the capability to process up to 584,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Ameriport A 960-acre, rail-served, industrial logistics park, suited for light and heavy manufacturing, distribution warehouse and packaging facilities. Its site design emphasizes improved logistics and accessibility to create savings for businesses by enhancing operational efficiencies. SNF FloMin A manufacturer and market reagent for the minerals processing industry. SNF FloMin C products are widely used for the flotation of copper, lead, zinc, gold, nickel, platinum group elements and others. Chevron Texaco Texaco, Inc. ("The Texas Company") is an American oil subsidiary of Chevron Corporation. Chevron is engaged in every aspect of the oil, natural gas, including hydrocarbon exploration and production; refining, marketing and transport; chemicals manufacturing and sales; and power generation.

The port was formed concurrently with the city of Houston itself. Congress designated Houston as a port in 1870 – a year which also marked the first survey of the city’s proposed ship channel. The timing couldn’t have been better. As the Houston Ship Channel was being developed, an event that would transform the city and the world was also transpiring: In 1901, oil was discovered at Spindletop.

By 1914, the then-25-foot-deep ship channel was finally open, cementing Houston’s place in history as a central trading hub for the United States. Within a few short years, Houston’s port and the area’s growing energy abundance created a synergy allowing both to grow.

Within 15 years, eight refiners had established facilities along the 52-mile ship channel, jumpstarting what would eventually grow to the nearly 200 private companies located there today – many of which are key players in the energy supply chain. Even more astounding, the 10 refineries in the Houston metro area process 2.6 million barrels of crude oil per calendar day. In 2018, the Houston Ship Channel region shipped more than 35 percent of the nation's crude oil exports.

Here are some key facts about the Port of Houston:


The Greater Port of Houston is the No. 1 U.S. port in foreign waterborne tonnage.


Houston Ship Channel-related activity helped generate more than $339 billion annually in statewide economic value, according to a 2018 Martin Associates study.


Petroleum and petroleum products are leading import and export commodities of the port.