Port Houston Releases Houston Ship Channel Economic Impact Study

Member Updates,

Results show “massive” value to Texas and the nation.

Photo courtesy of Port Houston.

During the regular meeting of Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority on May 23, Port Houston Chairman Ric Campo announced the results of the latest study of the economic impact of the Houston Ship Channel and Port Houston.

 "The Houston Ship Channel and the more than 200 private and eight public terminals along it continue to be a major economic generator in the state of Texas as well as the U.S. economy," Chairman Campo stated. He said the nation's busiest waterway is "contributing a massive amount of economic value to Texas and the nation."

Results from the John Martin Associates study showed that in 2022, the Houston Ship Channel generated $906 billion of economic value to the U.S., representing a 13% increase since 2018, when the study was last conducted. Marine cargo activity at the Houston Ship Channel terminals generated $439 billion of economic value for the state of Texas.

In 2022, the Houston Ship Channel and its terminals also supported 3.4 million jobs across the nation, including 1.5 million Texas jobs.

Since 2018, the growth in marine cargo activity, buoyed by the strong growth in container activity at Port Houston's two public terminals, resulted in nearly 190,000 new Texas jobs, as well as an increase of more than $100 billion in economic value to the state of Texas.

Chairman Campo expressed pride and profound gratitude to Port Houston staff, partners, community, stakeholders, labor, and industry, including the International Longshoremen's Association, the U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as the Port Commission for its guidance and commitment to supporting this "trajectory of growth."

The study's positive results helped further reinforce the Port Commission's path of continued investment in Port Houston's future. The report's data will also help Port Houston plan facilities and infrastructure.

Martin Associates has conducted more than 1,100 economic and planning studies representing ports worldwide. The full report can be accessed at this link.

Executive Director Roger Guenther's report to the Port Commission echoed the study results: "for the year, Port Houston's container exports continue to outpace historic 2022 volumes."

Port Houston's two public container terminals handled 1,026,260 loaded twenty-foot-equivalent units (“TEU”) through April, surpassing the 1 million mark earlier in this year than ever before. Loaded and unloaded containers total 1,241,910 TEU for the year.

However, the Executive Director cautioned, "we continue to see a slight softening of import container cargo compared to the record-breaking volumes of 2022," with the expectation of "container cargo normalizing as projected and as budgeted for the year."