Strategic Master Plan


The Port of Galveston strategic master plan will assist in guiding the port over the next 40-years.    

The Port of Galveston Strategic Master Plan (SMP) creates a vision and direction for the port that can be embraced by the community with a sustainable and viable business model for the Port.  Throughout the planning process outreach was conducted with the community, port users and stakeholders to guide the vision accordingly.   

The Master Plan identifies, examines, and positions the port for growth and expansion for the 40 years, develops principles and identifies key strategies that will guide future development opportunities.

Additionally, the plan includes goals with statements of desired achievements, objectives with specific measurable outcomes that fulfill the goals, and strategies that focus the initiatives to meet the objectives. The plan is driven by a recommended implementation strategy.

Long-range development goals are essential for guiding the future development and expansion of the port.  The Plan, is an evolving document that establishes policies and guidelines to direct the future development of the Port of Galveston and includes financial projections addressing the sustainability/profitability of the Strategic Master Plan range of options for conceptual port infrastructure.

Master Plan Objectives 

The objectives of the Strategic Master Plan are as follows:

Promote the development and growth of the Port by establishing a long-term vision, creating land use principles, and prioritizing capital investments for Port facilities and operations.

Adapt Port policies, operations, facilities and infrastructure to changing technology, cargo trends, regulations, natural and man-made disaster resiliency, and competition from other U.S. and foreign seaports.

Integrate economic, engineering, environmental and community considerations into the Port process for evaluating the impact of development projects and growth scenarios.

Create a roadmap for future port development that is consistent with federal, state, and city laws, with the primary mission of increasing waterborne trade and commerce.

To achieve the objectives the plan must:

Define the short and long-term capital program. (The plan will not be used to wholesale authorize any specific capital expenditures. Rather, each project identified in the Master Plan will be individually reviewed and approved by the Port at the appropriate time.

  • Achieve consensus among the political leadership on the vision for the Port.
  • Provide a unifying vision of the Port’s role in the community.
  • Establish a financially sustainable Port capable of meeting its mission.
  • Creating a justification document to support future environmental permits for potential use in seeking grants as needed.

Through a market assessment and demand process specific demand thresholds for cruise, cargo, industrial development, commercial development and additional resources such that appropriate triggers are defined for planning, programming, design, and construction of the plan elements and respective projects will be defined.

Changing trends require economic and market forecasting on the local, regional, national and global scale. The Plan places an emphasis on those expansion and improvement programs that will attract industries and/or commercial enterprises that have the propensity to bring jobs to the area. A key priority will be to accommodate growth utilizing various funding strategies.

An evaluation of the current organization, staffing organization and structure will be conducted to determine efficiencies and deficiencies, benchmark current goals for the Port against similar organizations for staff and organization requirements, assist the Port in determining future staffing needs and organization to support future strategic goals.

Master Plan Focus

The Port of Galveston has opportunities which require planning to determine how to best position the Port to meet its mission and role within the community.

Understanding the issues and recognizing the opportunities and limitations will allow the creation of a realistic and functional Master Plan that can serve the Port well into the future. The Plan will address:

Revenue Opportunities - Operational revenues for the Port and private industries are important to implementing recommendations that may be an outcome of the plan. Strategies will be developed to increase revenues and provide enhanced opportunities for the Port to reinvest in development. They will also address financial incentive programs that will enhance private development. The analysis shall cover the full range of revenue strategies available and provide recommendations for the most viable.

Local, State and Federal Programs - The plan will identify and characterize local, state and federal funding programs that can help the Port make needed improvements.

Opportunities for public/private partnerships (P3) – The plan will identify how the port can partner to accelerate development, bring in new opportunities, and reduce risks through P3 partnerships.  The plan will inform by providing a review of how public/private partnerships have been used in similar situations and how the Port could implement these partnerships.

The planning process will analyze and identify the best and highest uses for Port facilities including terminals, and industrial properties, and prioritize the development and expansion of those facilities for 5 to 40-year planning horizons.

The Master Plan will be designed to be reviewed and updated on a regular basis, incorporating new information and developments, refining market projections and opportunities, and evaluating and updating development and investment priorities.

Community/ Stakeholder Participation

 The process of formulating the plan will be based on an interactive working relationship between the Port’s management and the master planning consultant and will require involvement and input from key stakeholders, tenants, prospective customers, and the public.

A series of one-on-one, workshops and public meetings will be held throughout the planning process to gather input/feedback on direction as well as to inform the community as to the vision being considered for the future Port of Galveston.

The Master Plan will help clarify and communicate the Port vision and provide strategic navigation to consider a range of internal and external factors that may impact current and/or future operations.

The Port of Galveston will be providing a schedule for those public meetings once they are confirmed. Outreach to local organizations will be done as well to allow the business, environmental and community organizations to be engaged in the planning process.


Were held on June 3 and 5 in Cruise Terminal 1. 

 Master Plan Approach  

The Master Plan approach is a logical work progression that focuses on port issues which will need the most pressing decisions.  The approach includes the following:

Community outreach and involvement are integrated throughout the development of the plan to seek input from customers, users, stakeholders, elected leaders, Board members, and citizens.

Infrastructure Assessment to quantify the extent of the deficiencies and damage of the port marine infrastructure, develop repair concepts and methodologies, cost estimating and schedule preparation for rehabilitation projects that are required within the master plan process.

Market Assessment is conducted for Cruise operations –focusing on the significant growth in cruise over the next 40 years. Community and non-martime uses –community uses, real estate uses and integration aspects of the port will be considered.  Cargo / industrial operations – This part of the plan will develop strategies to identify and attract strong tenants for industrial properties that will provide for optimal use in support of long-term development goals and in line with the Port’s mission.

The final Master Plan has two key elements – the Financial plan that will involve the creation of a financial model to assist in the planning of the ports future and its sustainability; and the Comprehensive Plan that will consolidate all of the work into a single cohesive flexible/living Strategic Master Plan.

Please click HERE to view the executive summary of the Strategic Master Plan 

Please click HERE  to view the Strategic Master Plan slide deck

Please click HERE to view the Summary of public comments and  questionnaires