The Western Gulf Gateway Office is based in Houston, Texas, and its area of responsibility includes all the ports, waterways, and intermodal connections and corridors in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico. Houston is generally recognized as the energy capital of the Western Hemisphere. According to the American Association of Port AUthority, the port is consistently ranked 1st in the U.S. in foreign waterborne tonnage; 1st in U.S. imports; 2nd in U.S. export tonnage and 2nd in the U.S. in total tonnage. It is also the nation’s leading break-bulk post, handling 65% of all major U.S. project cargo. The nearby port of Texas City ranks as a major U.S. petroleum tonnage port. Galveston is one of the nation’s largest cruise port. The Texas ports of Beaumont, Port Arthur and Corpus Christi are designated as Strategic Ports of Embarkation and Debarkation (SPOE/SPOD), by the U.S. Maritime Administration and therefore serve the nation’s national security by loading and unloading military cargo. The Port of Beaumont is the nation’s busiest military cargo port and acts as a homeport for a large portion of the nation’s Ready Reserve Fleet. The port of Brownsville works closely with Mexico and handles significant amounts of steel, petroleum and grain products.
There are also three major ports in Oklahoma; the Port of Catoosa, the Port of Muskogee, and Johnston’s Port 33. These major inland waterway ports using barge traffic to move grain and other products on the nation’s inland waterways, and internationally via their connection to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Western Gulf Gateway Director works with all Texas and Oklahoma ports and other intermodal industries and responsible agencies to improve and strengthen the U.S. Marine Transportation System. The Director also helps to develop projects in Western Gulf port areas that will help promote overall economic growth, mitigate highway and port congestion, protect the environment, support both large and small American shipbuilding companies, and federal emergency preparedness and response. Particular emphasis is also given to supporting the America’s Marine Highway Initiative, the local development of deepwater ports, and American maritime workforce development. The Western Gulf Gateway Director is a member of the Area Maritime Security Committees (AMSC) in Houston, Corpus Christi, Port Arthur and Oklahoma, and the Port Readiness Committees (PRC) in Port Arthur/Beaumont and Corpus Christi.