For years, Houston has remained the most vibrant city in Texas and the fourth-largest city in the United States based on population. Located near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, this Southeastern city is the central anchor of the Texas Triangle megaregion, which also incorporates Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.
Houston’s economy runs predominantly on the energy industry, especially oil. However, other sectors, such as health care, biomedical research, and aerospace, contribute significantly to the city’s economy. In 2012, the gross domestic product of the Houston metropolitan area was $449 billion, making it the fourth-largest in the United States at that time. Houston has, however, been surpassed in that regard, with experts pointing to inflation and unemployment rates as critical causes.
The Houston metropolitan area has the largest concentration of petrochemical manufacturing worldwide, which is also sufficient for synthetic rubber, insecticides, and fertilizers. The city is also the world’s leading center for oilfield equipment construction and home to more than 3,000 energy-related businesses, including many of the top oil exploration and production firms and petroleum pipeline operators. As such, the city features a solid logistics industry and some of the best seaports, one such being the port of Houston.
The initial Port of Houston was located at downtown Houston’s Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou intersection. This area, previously regarded as “Allen’s Landing,” would later become the birthplace of the City of Houston and a now very famous park.
Shipping points grew at different locations on the Buffalo Bayou, including the then port of Harrisburg – which is now part of Houston – and the docks on the Allen Ranch. At the end of the 19th century, Buffalo Bayou had become an essential shipping channel, with traffic beginning to rival Galveston, the major port city at that time.
Following the Galveston Hurricane at the start of the 19th century, there was a need to develop a modern port in Harris County, believing that an inland port would serve the region better. President Woodrow Wilson officially commissioned the port to traffic as the World Port of Houston and Buffalo Bayou on November 10, 1914.
Today, the port has become one of the world’s biggest and most sophisticated globally. In 1977 the Port of Houston opened the Barbours Cut Terminal – Texas’ first cargo container terminal – which quickly became the port’s primary harbor. The Bayport Terminal followed in 2006, further extending the port authority’s reach outside the city of Houston.
The Port of Houston is the primary point of international trade for the United States. The following is the trade volume by world region reported by the Greater Houston Partnership as of 2006.
Latin America 22%
Asia/Pacific Rim 15%
North America 13%
Middle East 7%
As we mentioned, the downturn of Houston is a result of inflation and the unemployment rate. However, foreign trade has been touted as an effective strategy to foster the region’s recovery. Different sectors in the state have seen varying levels of recovery, but local and international trade continues to grow at a double-digit rate. So much, so that container traffic in the Port of Houston sets new records each year.
In 2021, Houston exported about $94.8 billion of goods, making it the third-largest exporter out of all 393 recognized by the United States. There has been a steady increase in Houston’s exports, with a 42.6% rise in value between June 2021 and July 2022. Most of the exports from Houston go to Mexico and Brazil. The United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Japan represents other significant export locations.
Houston’s year-by-year exports increase was highlighted by a 134% rise in exports to China and a 40% rise to Japan. A list of Houston’s top five exports includes the following;
Refined petroleum: $3.06 billion
Crude petroleum: $2.55 billion
Petroleum gas: $1.38 billion
Ethylene polymers: $825 million
Acyclic hydrocarbons: $413 million
The U.S Commercial Service is the lead trade agency of the United States government, and with professionals in over 100 U.S cities, including Houston, this agency help to streamline export from the United States. As part of the United States, Houston follows similar procedures enforced by the U.S Customs and Border Protection.
The CBP ensures that all goods exiting the city’s port comply with applicable laws and regulations. Exporters must fill all export information through the Automatic Export System (AES), an electronic filing method managed by the CBP and Census Bureau. Other additional requirements regarding export licenses are made available by the Port of Houston or any other port in the city used to export the cargo.
The total market size of the freight forwarding industry in the United States reached over $145 billion in 2021, and with the Port of Houston being the second largest port in the country based on total trade, it’s unsurprising that the city is populated with quality freight forwarders. These companies help streamline the entire export process on behalf of shippers.
Through an extensive network of connections with different shipping and logistics providers, Total Connection offers trustworthy, cost-effective container shipping services incorporating all conventional ocean freight, including Full Container Load, Less than Container Load, and project cargo shipments.
We step in to ensure shippers have timely transportation of their goods from the Port of Houston to different locations globally. Our wide array of transportation routes and flexible freight solutions ensures you can ship any type and amount of cargo at very competitive rates. Shippers also have the option of tracking and tracing the progress of their shipments.
Total Connection is significant in most of the world’s emerging markets. And with competent professionals, a solid network of connections, and extensive knowledge of different locations, we strive to be your global partner for all container shipping from Houston Port.