Ports & Terminals

Campo: Deepening Houston Ship Channel Is Top Priority

Widening and deepening the Houston Ship Channel is the Port of Houston’s “moon shot.”

That was the message from Port Houston Commission Chairman Ric Campo as he delivered the 2019 State of the Port Address to the Greater Houston Partnership November 21. The ship channel is comprised of more than 200 public and public facilities and receives more deep-draft calls than the three largest U.S. ports combined.

Campo reported a record-setting year for the greater Port of Houston.

“The Port of Houston is a strategic lifeline and asset for the national economy,” he said.

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“We are in a race with the economic forces and limitations of commerce if we cannot find ways to deepen and widen the Houston Ship Channel,” he said.

Campo highlighted the efforts of partnership and people as the foundation of continued success for the busiest waterway in the nation. He connected the 2019 fiftieth anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 Moon Mission to the Houston Ship Channel’s Project 11, which endeavors to widen and deepen the channel on an accelerated timeline to accommodate the larger vessels calling at the greater Port of Houston.

“People made it possible then, and they make achievement possible today,” he said. “We each play a role and embody the can-do spirit that Houston is known for.”

Campo stressed the need to expand the ship channel to continue exporting energy commodities and importing cargo at a rate to keep up with national and international economic needs. “Delays will result in supply chain disruption that impacts our economy,” he said.

Home to the largest petrochemical complex in the world, the greater Port of Houston is a hub of the nation’s pipeline network. The safe and efficient movement of oil and gas products through the port is a significant factor in building a strong and independent base for fuel and petroleum-based products in North America, and beyond, Campo said.

“Even with the amazing skill set of the Houston Pilots, there is no question that a wider channel is a safer channel,” he said.

Port Houston is also currently the fastest-growing of the top 10 container ports in the United States. Many of the products people use every day are delivered in shipping containers transported through the Port of Houston. “Chances are, the coffee on your table to the clothes you put on today came at one point through the Houston Ship Channel on a container,” Campo said.

He concluded his remarks describing the success of Houston Ship Channel’s Project 11 as a defining moment for the nation, the state of Texas, and Houston.

Following the address, Port Houston launched a new microsite providing more information about the Houston Ship Channel Project 11. Details are available at: www.expandthehoustonshipchannel.com