Houston, Texas freight rates Whether by sea, highway or rail, a major portion of the country’s freight passes in and out of the Houston region. The region is home to the ports of Houston, Galveston, Freeport and Texas City. The Port of Houston ranks first in the U.S. in foreign tonnage and is the largest container port in the Gulf Coast, handling 66 percent of Gulf Coast container traffic in 2013. A recent expansion of the Panama Canal to allow larger ocean freighters should increase port traffic. As one of the nation’s busiest rail centers, the Houston region has a rail network of more than 800 miles of rail line and 21 miles of railroad bridges. Additionally, 10 major rail companies serve the Houston region and 150 trucking lines connect the Port of Houston to the continental U.S., Canada and Mexico. Houston is the crossroads for Interstate Highways 10 and 45, as well as several state highways.
Tampa, Florida freight rates The central Florida city of Tampa is home to the highly traveled Port Tampa Bay, the closest full service port to the Panama Canal. It handled more than 36 million tons of cargo in 2014 and is one of the world’s premier fertilizer ports. With major interstate systems I-4, I-75 and I-275 running through the region, Tampa is connected to major U.S. cities like Atlanta, Cincinnati, Orlando and Detroit, as well as to the Canadian border. The region offers 500 miles of active railroad and siding tracks, which maintains a major rail yard, an intermodal terminal, a TRANSFLO terminal and an automotive distribution center in Tampa. The region isn’t as affected by the tourism industry as other locations in Florida, but like other destinations in the Sunshine State, the summer citrus season can drive freight prices up. LTL shipping is usually affordable due to the volume of goods moving through the area via truck and rail.