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Port of Houston No. 1 in the U.S. by Cargo Volume

Published Nov 30, 2020 by A.J. Mistretta

Houston Port

The Port of Houston is now the number one port in the nation by total tonnage of goods moved, according to new figures for the 2019 calendar year. 

The Port, which is comprised of the public and private terminals that line the Houston Ship Channel, has long been No. 1 when it comes to foreign tonnage moved. But the new figures from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers show the local complex handled 285 million tons of cargo in total last year, about 47 million tons more than any other U.S. port and a 6% increase over 2018. The Port of South Louisiana previously held the No. 1 spot for most total cargo handled. 

The Port of Houston is also first in the nation in terms of vessel transits, handling on average 50 deep water vessels per day. 

The Port is comprised of Port Houston’s eight public terminals and almost 200 private terminals situated along the Houston Ship Channel. Port of Houston drives $802 billion in annual national economic value and supports more than 3 million U.S. jobs, according to Port officials. 

“The Port of Houston is the undisputed leader nationally as a result of the continued growth of commerce that moves through the busiest waterway in the U.S.,” said Port Houston Executive Director Roger Guenther. “When you consider the strategic importance of Houston to America’s energy sector, its economic value as the leading export region, and the rapid expansion of imported goods to meet consumer demand of a large and growing population, it clearly highlights the need to expedite the improvements of the Houston Ship Channel to ensure safe and efficient trade for the nation.”

As the local sponsor and an advocate of the Houston Ship Channel, Port Houston currently is partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and private industry on a plan to expand the channel at an accelerated pace. Work is slated to begin as early as next year on the project that will widen and deepen the channel. 

See the latest trade data and learn more about international business in Houston
 

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