The Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves was designated to operate the public Port of Galveston by City Charter in 1940. The wharves and terminal properties that the city bought were created as a separate utility within the city and named the Galveston Wharves. The Board of Trustees is responsible for managing the assets of the port and to benefit the local economy of the city and region. Specifically, the Port of Galveston's mission is to be an economic catalyst, generating jobs and income to the economy, and to build, maintain, and either lease or operate public wharf facilities so that they are financially self-sufficient.
The Port of Galveston is strategically located at the mouth of Galveston Bay about one-half hour from the Gulf of Mexico. The Port of Galveston owns and operates public wharves, covered and open storage, transit sheds, warehouses, and freight-handling facilities. Most of the land and facilities is leased to private interests. The Port of Galveston is served by the Galveston Railroad, L.P. that provides rail connections with the Union Pacific Railroad and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.
Pier 10 in the Port of Galveston has a 410.3-meter dock with two berths and alongside depth of 12.2 meters. The terminal at Pier 10 covers 15.4 hectares, and the dock is served by an on-terminal rail ramp and truck and rail services.
Piers 19-22, the "Window on the Waterfront," is the Port of Galveston's tourist-oriented facility. It is home to the Ocean Star Drilling Rig Museum, the Texas Seaport Museum, the Waterfront Inn, and the 1877 iron-hulled sailing vessel Elissa as well as many restaurants, shops, theaters, and art galleries.
The Port of Galveston's Piers 25-27 contain the two Cruise Ship Terminals operated by the Port of Galveston. The facility contains two berths of 609.6 meters alongside depth of 9.1 meters. The total terminal area is 20.4 thousand square meters, and the terminals are supported by port-operated parking facilities with full security and shuttle services. Houston airports provide air service to over 150 cities, and the port offers shore excursions and motor coach tours near the terminal facility.
Carnival Cruise Lines operates two vessels, the Ecstasy and the Conquest, offering 4- and 5-day cruises to Mexico. Royal Caribbean International operates its largest ship, the Voyager of the Seas, offering 7-day cruises to the Western Caribbean from the Port of Galveston's Cruise Ship Terminals.
The Port of Galveston's Piers 16-18 specialize in handling fresh fruit (mainly bananas) and produce and providing chilled storage. Operated by Del Monte Fresh Produce, the 2-berth dock is 366.7 meters long alongside depth of 10.4 meters. The terminal includes over six thousand square meters of refrigerated warehouse.
Pier 19 in the Port of Galveston serves the Mosquito Fleet and is the marina for commercial fishing boats. The pier serves wholesale seafood businesses and restaurants and berths commercial shrimping and fishing boats as well as deep-sea party boats.
Piers 30-32 at the Port of Galveston contain the Export Grain Elevator. Operated by ADM Grain Company, the 304.8-meter berth has alongside depth of 12.2 meters and storage capacity for 4.8 cubic meters of grain. The facility has capacity to unload railcars of 1.6 thousand metric tons and to load vessels at a rate of two thousand metric tons per hour. The piers have rail and truck services.
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics operates the Port of Galveston's roll-on/roll-off cargo terminal, Pier 34. The terminal has a water depth of 11.6 meters and a 4.1 thousand square meter warehouse. It is also served by truck and rail.
The Port of Galveston's Bulk Terminal at Piers 35-36 is operated by Agriliance LLC – Galveston Terminal and handles general dry bulk cargoes, including agricultural, mineral, and fertilizer products. The 195.7-meter berth has alongside depth of 11 meters, and the terminal has capacity to store up to 30 tons of cargo.
The Roll-on/Roll-off Cargo Terminal at the Port of Galveston's Pier 37 is operated by "K" Line. The facility imports and exports rolling stock, machinery, and project cargo. The 353.6-meter long berth has alongside depth of 10.4 meters, and the facility includes an almost 7 thousand square meter warehouse and two hectares of marshalling yards.
The Port of Galveston Rail Barge Terminal at Pier 37 is designed to transfer rail cars to and from the rail line to barges. With a water depth of 6.7 meters, the terminal is served by both rail and truck.
The Port of Galveston's Bulk Cement Terminal at Pier 39 is operated by Suderman Contracting Stevedores. Served by rail, the terminal stores and transships bulk cement.
The Bulk Terminal – Galveston Terminals is operated by Pelican Island Storage Terminal, Inc. to store and transship liquid bulk products. With a water depth of 12.2 meters, the terminal has capacity to store over 123 thousand cubic meters of cargo. Serving deep-draft vessels, barges, and intracoastal barges, the terminal provides bunker and diesel fuel.
Pier 14, the Port of Galveston's Marine Repair Facility on Galveston Island, is operated by Malin International Ship Repair & Drydock Inc. for the maintenance and repair of vessels and drilling rigs. The facility includes almost 460 meters of berth space with alongside depths from 7.3 to 7.6 meters and a 3.2 thousand square meter backup space.
The Port of Galveston's Pelican Island Marine Repair Facility is operated by Gulf Copper Drydocks & Rig Repair to maintain and repair vessels and offshore rigs. The 43.3-hectare facility has water depths from 7.6 to 12.2 meters and dry dock lift capacity of 60 thousand tons. The facility offers construction, repair, engineering, modification, and environmental services to the offshore and marine industry. It includes fabrication areas and equipment for modular construction, and the facility can accommodate all kinds of floating structures.