United States of America Houston port

Port of Houston Authority
111 East Loop North Houston
United States of America

Phone:+1 713 670 240
Fax:+1 713 670 2564
Latitude:29° 36' 39" N
Longitude:95° 1' 18" W
Time zone:GMT -6
Max depth:12.20m

Terminal operators active at this port

  • Bunkers
  • Containers
  • Dry Bulk
  • Dry Dock
  • General Cargo Bulk
  • Other Liquid
  • Petroleum
  • Airport

Container Facilities


  • 6,000 feet of berths (1,829 m.)
  • 5 Panamax wharf cranes, 4 Post-Panamax wharf cranes
  • 40 RTG yard cranes
  • 230 acres (93 hec.) of container yard
  • 25,400 TEU capacity
  • 1.7 million TEU annual throughput capacity
  • 2,500 wheeled unit slots, 342 reefer plugs
  • Automated gate system, 15 inbound and 12 outbound lanes
  • NAVIS inventory system
  • Optical Character Recognition at gates
  • On-site 42-acre (17 hec.) rail ramp with 4 working tracks, 5 storage tracks and 900 parking spaces
  • 155,000 sqft (14,400 m²)warehouse space in two buildings
  • Roll-on/Roll-off platform
  • 24-hour working docks and security


  • 3,300 feet of berths (1,006 m.) (growing to 7,000 feet of berths (2,134 m.) at final built-out)
  • 9 Super Post-Panamax wharf cranes
  • 27 RTG yard cranes
  • 160 acres (65 hec.) of container yard (growing to 378 acres (153 hec.) of container yard at final built-out)
  • 26,000 TEU capacity
  • 1 million TEU annual throughput capacity (growing to 2.3 million TEU annual throughput at final built-out)
  • 850 wheeled unit slots; 536 reefer plugs
  • Automated gate system; 8 inbound and 6 outbound lanes
  • NAVIS inventory system
  • Optical Character Recognition at gates
  • 24-hour working docks and security

Breakbulk Facilities

Steel, Heavy-Lift, Project and General Cargo Terminals

Turning Basin Terminal

  • 20,000 feet of berths
  • (6,096 m.)
  • Specialized for breakbulk,container, heavy-lift, steel,vehicles, liquid/dry bulk
  • FTZ designation
  • Wharves 16 and 32 with 1,000 lb/sqft (4,900 kg/m²) capacity
  • Wharf 32
  • 806 feet of berths (246 m.)
  • 18.5 (7 hec.) acres of paved marshaling area


  • 1,910 feet of berths (582 m.)
  • Specialized for multi-use and general cargo
  • 235,000 sqft (21,832 m²) of transit shed with 10 acres (4 hec.) of open storage

Care Terminal

  • 1,118 feet of berths (341 m.)
  • Specialized for dry bulk, containers, project and breakbulk
  • 1,000 lb/sqft (4,900 kg/m²) adjacent to 23 acres (9 hec.) of open storage
  • 46,000 sqft (4,274 m²) of shed space

Jacintoport Terminal

  • 1,836 of berths (560 m.)
  • Specialized for bagged and project cargo
  • On-site bagging equipment
  • High speed Spiralveyor cargo handling system for bagged goods
  • FTZ designation

Bulk Cargo Terminals

Houston Public Grain Elevator #2

  • Totally automated facility
  • Average vessel loading 70,000 bushels/hour
  • Average rail unloading 46,000 bushels/hour

Bulk Materials Handling Plant

  • 1,200 feet of berth (366 m.)
  • Specialized for any kind of dry bulk commodity import/export
  • High-speed loading system and dust collection system


Imports - 83,816,269 tons

Exports -  78,627,053 tons

Total Foreign Trade - 162,443,322 tons

Total Domestic Trade - 75,742,260 tons

Total Trade - 238,185,582 tons

Approximately 215 million tons of cargo moved through the Port in 2005, most of which is petroleum related. The Port has two separate terminals dedicated to the handling of cargo containers: Barbours Cut (at Morgan's Point), and Bayport (in Pasadena, opened in October 2006). The Barbours Cut terminal was, in fact, the port's first terminal specifically designed for these shipments. Additional general cargo terminals include Turning Basin, Jacintoport, Woodhouse, and Care.

The Port Authority offers a 90-minute free cruise aboard the M/V Sam Houston, details of which can be found on its website. Since the Houston Ship Channel is closed to recreational traffic, this is the only means by which the general public can view port operations, and thus the tours are highly popular.

Most Volkswagen (and Audi) automobiles sold in North America pass through the port of Houston.

The Port is operated by the Port of Houston Authority, an independent political subdivision of the State of Texas governed by a seven-member commission. The City of Houston and the Harris County Commissioners Court each appoint two commissioners; these two governmental entities also jointly appoint the chairman of the Port Commission. The Harris County Mayors and Councils Association and the City of Pasadena each appoint one commissioner. Daily operations are overseen by an Executive Director who serves at the will of the Commission.

A renovation project for the Port's Turning Basin Terminal began in 2010 and is expected to take 10 years. The Turning Basin Terminal is a multipurpose complex with open wharves and 37 docks that are used for direct discharge and loading of breakbulk, containerized, project or heavy-lift cargoes. The goal of the renovation is to accommodate the increase in the transportation of steel, which increased more than 3.1 million tons in the first nine months of 2011, up from 1.9 million tons over the same period in the previous year.

Comparison of nearest ports with similar facilities

Distance (mi)
Distance (km)
Airport X
Bunkers X
Containers X
Dry Bulk X
Dry Dock X
General Cargo Bulk X
Other Liquid X
Petroleum X