Center for Ports & Waterways


Texas portSeaports and inland waterways play a vital role in the economy of Texas. With eleven deepwater seaports and more than 1,000 miles of inland waterways, these international gateways account for more than 17 percent of Texas’ gross state product, making it one of the country’s largest maritime states. The Texas Marine Transportation System is just one component of the national system comprising 1,000 harbor channels; 25,000 miles of inland, intracoastal, and coastal waterways; and 3,700 terminals that handle passenger and cargo movements. This system connects with 152,000 miles of rail, 460,000 miles of pipelines, and 45,000 miles of interstate highways. These elements are all tightly interwoven; developments in one part of the system could easily affect another part of the system located hundreds or even thousands of miles away.

To help preserve this vital economic component and to position the industry to take advantage of opportunities for growth, the Texas Legislature established Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s (TTI) Center for Ports and Waterways (CPW) in 1995. The CPW provides valuable applied research at the local, regional, and national level, benefiting both the nation and the State of Texas.

Through research and development, TTI has improved the effectiveness and efficiency of transportation systems. The Institute has been instrumental in improving mobility, safety, and economic competitiveness throughout Texas and the nation. This proven track record of research, technology transfer, and implementation is a valuable resource for the maritime industry.

From local issues in water transportation to issues such as Homeland Security, TTI and the CPW are uniquely qualified to help ensure the safety, efficiency, and productivity of our nation’s maritime interests.

The CPW links seaports, shippers, carriers (all modes), government, universities, and the private sector. Working with these agencies which have interests in water and intermodal transportation, the Center addresses complex issues such as:

  • Trade flows and trends,
  • Intermodal concerns,
  • Regional competitiveness,
  • Landside access,
  • Economic and environmental impacts,
  • International commerce,
  • NAFTA and GATT,
  • Port development,
  • Transportation Policy formulation and implementation, and
  • Security.

Download Center for Ports & Waterways fact sheet

For More Information

Jim Kruse

Jim Kruse

Jim Kruse
Center for Ports & Waterways
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Texas A&M University System
701 N. Post Oak, Suite 430
Houston, TX, 77024
(713) 686-2971 · fax (713) 686-5396