News & Updates: Port Bureau News: June 2020

Cooper/Ports America Delivers Customers a Deluxe Suite of Maritime, Transportation Services

Friday, June 26, 2020  
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Cooper/Ports America (C/PA), a joint venture between Cooper/T. Smith and Ports America, acquired with Shippers Stevedoring, Chaparral Stevedoring and 100% of Integrated Marine Services (IMS) to offer an unparalleled portfolio of maritime and transportation services to Texas markets. They offer full-service stevedoring, terminal operations, container stuffing and stripping, container yard depots, container and chassis maintenance and repair, truck brokerage and logistics.
All photos courtesy of C/PA.

The C/PA venture was formed in 2016, bringing the strengths of Cooper/T. Smith and Ports America together for operations throughout Texas. Like their owners, The Cooper Group of Companies and Ports America, C/PA holds that it’s their people that make them the premier service provider in their industries.

This outlook is particularly reflected in the company’s strong emphasis on safety. Safety is led by the participation of all personnel and drives every C/PA operation. “Our positive safety results are made by the positive attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs of the C/PA team,” says J. David Morgan, president of C/PA.

 Combining Strengths Expanded Core Services

Established in 1905, Cooper /T.  Smith has operations on  all three U.S. coasts and foreign operations in Brazil and Mexico. The company maintains ownership in numerous subsidiary and affiliate companies, including warehousing, terminal operations, tugboats, push boats, barging, barge fleeting, floating terminals, logistics, marine & timberlands, vessel repair and restaurants. Their experienced, action- oriented team, state-of-the-art equipment and automated facilities provide fast, efficient and cost-effective movement of cargo anywhere.

Ports America brought over 90 years of experience to the joint venture. They are is the largest U.S. terminal operator and stevedore, with operations in every major port in the nation.  Ports America  possesses dedicated   resources that only a company of such scale and scope can deliver, including skilled personnel, robust training programs, best- in class technology and experienced management.

The powerhouse of the combined businesses of Ports America, Cooper/T. Smith, Shippers Stevedoring, Chaparral Stevedoring, and IMS makes C/PA unique. “C/PA offers many services branched out  from our core business of stevedoring,” explains Morgan. “Other stevedoring companies may offer just stevedoring or stevedoring and  an additional adjacent service, but C/PA offers terminal operations, off-dock container maintenance and repair, off- dock and on-dock container freight stations for loading/ unloading containers, and Foreign Trade Zone storage.”

Technology-Driven Logistics Services Transforms City Docks

 C/PA has experienced steady growth. The company has gained new business across its business units since 2016, but the largest, most comprehensive growth has been the result of the “Total Logistics Services” innovation at Port Houston’s City Docks.

“We developed proper lay-down yards at City Docks, combined various truck offices into one centrally located truck office for over-the-road truck driver efficiencies, developed and updated the Terminal Operating System (TOS) to enable on-site tablet use by our terminal staff as well as online customer reports for both shippers and receivers to track their cargo,” Morgan says. “We also added a truck brokerage division.”

This new C/PA division has grown and has updated the historically inefficient logistics operations at City Docks with a better total logistics system for ALL cargo interests from shippers, to C/PA’s ship line customers, to the truck driving community and ultimately to the final cargo owner.

An Efficiency-Driven Future

Just like the efficiencies of C/PA’s “Total Logistics Services” transformed operations at the City Docks, the company’s future planning will focus on performance competencies.

Morgan believes improved efficiency is significant to steering all maritime businesses as they forge ahead. This includes sufficient water depth to handle larger vessels across all types of cargo, labor efficiencies, better use of inland transportation infrastructure to get export cargo to ports and import cargo to the customers efficiently.

“All of these items,” says Morgan, “need to evolve and improve to increase efficiencies and ultimately enable the maritime community to compete for low/lower customer pricing within the international market.”

Stevedoring (Breakbulk, Containers, RoRo, U.S. Military Cargo)

 With state-of-the-art equipment and automation, C/PA moves cargo with ease and efficiency. Their expertise lies in the handling of all types of cargoes such as: steel products, containers, heavy lifts; lumber; plywood, dry bulk, and other miscellaneous products.

Project Cargo

High value project cargoes require the right team of experienced professionals and the quality freight insurance coverage for protection. C/PA provides customers with both.


C/PA provides terminal (receiving and delivery of cargo, weighing, sorting, clerking and sampling) services, container/ chassis maintenance, repair, and storage for containerized cargo.

Terminal Services

Whether customers ship freight domestically or import/ export in the U.S., C/PA (with over 100 acres of controlled land and 1 Million ft2 of warehouse) provides terminal services to handle and/or store cargo.


C/PA is equipped to handle Ro-Ro cargo including vehicles, construction and agricultural machinery, aviation and transportation equipment, military equipment, and more.

Truck Brokering & Logistics

C/PA has a knowledgeable, experienced team and the transportation network to provide supply chain management and multi-services packages for all types of transportation cargo.

To learn more about Cooper/Ports America, go to


Dave Morgan, President, Cooper/Ports America, LLC