Port of Beaumont History
The Port of Beaumont is a deep-water port located in Beaumont, Texas, near the Neches River’s mouth. According to the AAPA or American Association of Port Authorities report, it’s the fourth busiest port in the entire United States. The Port of Beaumont is also the forty-seventh most active globally in cargo and one of the busiest military ports internationally. It’s one of the significant places where US military equipment is processed.
What’s in the Port of Beaumont?
The port serves as headquarters to the United States Army’s 842d Transportation Battalion, specializing in port logistical activity.
The port is 84 miles east of Houston and 270 miles west of New Orleans. It is about 42 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico along the Sabine-Neches Waterway.
The port includes:
- Roll-on/Roll-off dock
- 94 acres of open storage
- 574,710 sq ft of covered storage
- Rail storage
- A 1,100 ft diameter turning basin; and
- A 3.5 million bushel capacity grain elevator
The port has a giant harbor mobile crane in the Gulf of Mexico region, a 140 metric ton capacity crane with a 168-foot extension. Inside the port are three marine terminals.
- The Carroll Street wharf has 108,900 sq ft of covered storage and 1,435 ft of the harbourfront.
- The Harbor Island Marine Terminal has 345,000 sq ft of covered and open storage with 1,880 ft of harbor frontage.
- And lastly, The Jefferson Energy Terminal, located on 250 acres of land, has one barge doc and one ship dock.
How can I access the Port of Beaumont?
It has highway and rail access and the Sabine-Neches Waterway gulf and ocean access. The famous port is also close to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
The port’s origin was way back in 1908 when crews dug a 9-foot deep canal in the Neches River from Beaumont, Texas, to the existing Port Arthur ship channel. By the 1940s, the channel’s depth had surpassed 40 feet.
History of the Beaumont Port:
Beaumont became known for its popularity in the farming industry and cattlemen, rice, timber, and cotton. These are what Beaumont’s businesses were made of back in the day. The Neches River opened an opportunity for Beaumont to become a deep-draft terminal, and it soon opened for lumber and other primary product shipments that Beaumont had.
The ships had traveled to shallow waters and difficult parts of the sea to deliver the goods. The city’s forbears saw the importance of investing in canal ships, considering that the Federal Government saw this as an advantage and a solution. Their investment created a series of canal-leading boats from the Gulf of Mexico and The Neches River as it’s a much better route than to take the shallow waters of Sabine Lake.
Port of Beaumont’s early history
In 1901, Beaumont was booming with oil and became known to many investors as they shipped out more off the country. The recent boom led to the enhancement of the Beaumont Port Arthur Orange Metropolitan Area, and they used it for shipbuilding, processing, refining, and shipping.
In 1908, a local businessman inspired by Beaumont’s forbears decided to dig a canal in the Neches River to Port Arthur ship channel, later known as the Sabine-Neches Waterway.
A group purchased land back in 1913 that surrounded the port, and local businessmen developed a waterfront. The port was then owned and operated by the city until 1949.
The Port of Beaumont played a huge role in World War 2, dealing heavily in the country’s defenses. Dockworkers were there day and night in the port, the refinery, and shipyards to provide essential items to the war effort, just like they had done in the First World War.
In 1941, the bridge over the Neches River was complete. All three class one railroads continuously offered rail services to the port. In 1947, investors funded additional deepening for the waterways, and it became clear that Beaumont could no longer manage the municipal docks. The group petitioned the creation of a new political subdivision.
As a result of these and many more unmentioned efforts, Texas’ 51st Legislature created Beaumont Port in 1949 as a political body and an entity of the Government. Six elected port commissioners govern it, and the Port of Beaumont Navigation District covers an area of about 150 square miles, including the City of Beaumont.
The port continued to grow way into the 1950s. As the early 60s started to emerge, the city approved a 4 million dollar budget for the port’s enhancement and development.
Port of Beaumont’s modern history
Plans to deepen the Sabine-Neches Waterway to 48 feet received federal approval in 2014. The $1.1 billion projects started in 2017 and are estimated to take between 12 and 15 years to complete. They’re still ongoing!
In 2020, The Government and Beaumont’s Port Commissioners approved a $249.7 million capital project for its improvement program, comprising 21 infrastructure improvement projects that will soon bear results for the advancement of South Texas and, the main purpose, improve the port’s facilities. What does this project include? These are $100 million projects that commenced in Q2 2021.
- Main Street Terminal 1 Dock Rebuild – phase 2 ; this project is worth $79 million
- Grain Dock Rebuild; This project is worth $15 million
- Buford Railroad Interchange Track; This project is worth $13.2 million
What is The Port of Beaumont’s imports and exports?
Imports would be forest products (Eucalyptus pulp), aggregate, military cargo, project cargo, wind turbine components, iron and steel, and other metal articles. In contrast, exports are bulk grain, military cargo, iron and steel, vehicles, crude oil, diesel, gasoline, and bagged goods.
The Port of Beaumont is held dearly to Beaumont locals, and this is because it caters to more than 67,000 jobs and generates $24.5 billion annually in economic activity. There’s a lot to go to, but Port Beaumont is a must-see destination with a deep cultural rich history.
What’s the Port of Beaumont Address?
You can visit the Port of Beaumont at 1225 Main St, Beaumont, TX 77701. To find out more about the deep and rich history of the port, you can visit their official website. Are you interested in all things Beaumont? Check out our Beaumont directory!