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Port Houston continues to reach milestones

Published by , Editor
Dry Bulk,

The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority met virtually last week for its regular July monthly meeting. In his opening remarks, Chairman Campo provided an update on progress towards authorisation of Project 11 in the US House of Representatives, with its recent approval of Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) legislation. While the companion measure is still awaiting action in the full Senate, Chairman Campo expressed appreciation for its bipartisan support and the efforts of private industry and others working for its success.

During the meeting both Chairman Campo and Executive Director Roger Guenther expressed their appreciation to all of the people on the front lines as well as those working remotely for their “continuous contributions to deliver support and success to the ongoing operations at Port Houston.”

“I want to point out again that the Port’s success through this pandemic is supported by the work of many.” Guenther continued, adding that “our customers’ freight continues to move because of the men and women working for Port Houston, the ILA, truckers, pilots, stevedores, and numerous others in our industry, who are showing up every day to keep commerce flowing through our region.”

Guenther reported that gate volumes at the container terminals were up, as he announced two “record days” last week for truck transactions at Barbours Cut Container Terminal.

“I’m not going to say we are back, but there are some bright spots that we are hopeful will continue,” Guenther said.

He added that blank or cancelled sailings appear to be decreasing for August, and there are “likely extra loaders planned over the next month or two, to handle peak season volume in the trans-pacific trade.” Extra loaders are vessels added to a carrier’s regularly scheduled ships in a service rotation.

Despite the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and cargo decreases over the last three to four months, container volume through the second quarter for Port Houston’s public terminals totalled 1.4 million TEU, only a 2% decrease over the same period last year.

“Port Houston is in this for the long game,” Guenther said.

Actions taken by the Port Commission during its meeting supported continued investment in infrastructure and operations for Port Houston’s public terminals, as well as the Houston Ship Channel expansion project.

“Our team keeps hitting milestones for the success of Project 11,” Guenther said, concerning the proposed public-private project to widen and deepen the Houston Ship Channel to serve larger ships and increased volume and growth at the port.

Total tonnage through Port Houston public facilities through the first half of the year was 20.8 million t, which is about 5% less than in 2019. Port Houston public general cargo terminals handled 1.3 million t of steel through the 2Q20, which is down 45% from last year.

The next Port Commission meeting is set for 29 September, with no meeting currently scheduled for August.

About Port Houston

For more than 100 years, Port Houston has owned and operated the public wharves and terminals of the Port of Houston – the US’s largest port for foreign waterborne tonnage and an essential economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas and the nation. It supports the creation of nearly 1.175 million jobs in Texas and 2.7 million jobs nationwide, and economic activity totalling almost US$265 billion in Texas – 16% of Texas’ total gross domestic product – and more than US$617 billion in economic impact across the nation.

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