Houston Leads Nation With 65 Million Tons Of Foreign Trade

During 1979, for the first time in history, the Port of Houston led the nation in a major category of port activity, becoming No. 1 in foreign trade tonnage.

In doing so, Houston surpassed the traditional leader, the Port of New York-New Jersey.

Statistics of the U.S. Department of Commerce put Houston's 1979 foreign trade tonnage at 64,899,500 tons, up almost 4 percent over the 62,490,000 tons of 1978. At the same time, foreign trade tonnage at New York decreased more than 10 percent, from 67,038,500 tons in 1978 to 60,183,000 tons last year.

The change is the more notable since shipments of crude petroleum, the major commodity moved through the Port of Houston, declined by 6 percent in 1979, from 33,043,018 tons to 31,027,265 tons.

In fact, overall import tonnage decreased at the Port of Houston last year. The decline was 1.3 percent from 42,440,000 tons in 1978 to 41,874,500 tons in 1979.

A jump in exports through the Port of Houston combined with a decline in imports at New York to move Houston into the top spot.

Total tonnage at the Port of Houston last year was 122,383,- 558, an increase of 12 percent over the 1978 total. The foreign trade was valued at $18.5 billion.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 32,  Oct 1980

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