Five states have Gulf Coast ports, or ports on the Gulf of Mexico: Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Transportation along the Gulf Coast is made easier by the Gulf Coast Intracoastal Waterway, and 11 of the world's 15 busiest ports (according to tonnage) live along this waterway.
You'll find a multitude of Gulf Coast commercial ports along the Gulf Coast Intracoastal Waterway. If your fleet travels to ports in the Gulf Coast regularly or even one or two of the major Gulf Coast ports, then your company knows the rules and expectations at those ports. If you want to know about other ports on the Gulf of Mexico--or if you need information to start traveling to major Gulf Coast ports--then there are three questions you probably want answered:
1. What US Gulf Coast ports exist?
2. What are the smallest and largest ports in the Gulf of Mexico?
3. What should my fleet expect at ports on the Gulf Coast?
Know which Gulf Coast commercial ports exist
While the Gulf of Mexico contains a plethora of ports and docks, the size of your ship or ships will dictate which USA Gulf Coast ports you'll want to patronize. Make sure you have backup ports on the Gulf Coast. Business (commercial) ships are often too large to meander about looking for an appropriate port.
Investigate the size of various Gulf Coast ports
This doesn't mean only the physical size of each port; you need to know how much business ports typically do in a year to better gauge what to expect when your ship approaches and docks at a Gulf Coast port.
Learn the terrain surrounding and laws governing Gulf Coast ports
Now that you've armed your company with a list of viable Gulf Coast ports, make sure you've covered the basics so your fleet can dock at these ports seamlessly.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
. Consider joining the American Association of Port Authorities as an associate or full member so you can get access to periodical alerts and advisories that impact your business.
- If your ships will go to Mexican Gulf Coast ports remember to check on international shipping regulations with the United States Department of Commerce.