On January 28th, 2016, American Turkic Business Council & Texas Turkish American Chamber organized a business trip to the Port of Houston. Members had the opportunity to explore the Port and learn more about it through an informative presentation by Trade Development Manager, Mr. Ricardo Arias.
Before the beginning of the presentation, the business members and prospective investors introduced themselves and the type of business they hope to do. Mr. Arias emphasized that the Port of Houston hopes to become an asset and a base of information.
Mr. Arias started the presentation with a brief history. The Port of Houston officially opened to traffic in 1914, after Harris County Houston Ship Channel Navigation District decided to start construction to build something for more serious business in 1911. By 1926, the channel was dredged to 30 feet. The Port of Houston Authority has grown so much that it handles 67% of the containerized cargo in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
Choosing the Port of Houston provides access to waterways, highways, and railways. With 4 intermodal rail terminals, 14 major freeways, the Port is considered to be a “maritime gateway to Houston” and to all major U.S. markets. With its national and international status, the Port is ranked as the number 1 Port in the U.S. by foreign waterborne tonnage at 163 Million tons. Out of the 150 terminals, 8 terminals belong and are operated by the Port of Houston. From the end of the turning basin to the open sea it is 52 miles long. From the open sea to the Turning Basin, there are terminals, refineries, tank farms, and cargo channels. As both Texas and Houston are growing regions, the diverse economy and sectors make it a favorable location to import and export goods.
Barbours Cut and Bayport are the crown jewels of the Port. As far as the container side, almost 70% of business in the Gulf of Mexico is handled through these two locations by the Port of Houston. Barbours Cut and Bayport are among the most modern container terminals in the U.S.
The Port is the largest petrochemical complex in the United States, while 2nd in the world.
With over 12,000 acres of total Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) area, the Port of Houston receives more merchandise than any other zone in the United States. In regards to global trade, the Port has links to worldwide countries and areas, making it very profitable for individuals doing business through Houston.
The Port drives prosperity in the region and across the U.S. through its impact on the economy, personal income, and jobs created.
Following the presentation, Mr. Arias led the group on a tour of the facilities. Overall, the trip organized by the American Turkic Business Council & Texas Turkish American Chamber of Commerce was deemed very successful and informative for all attendees.