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Ports of Houston and Antwerp collaborate on global commerce

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Dry Bulk,

During a seminar focused on international commerce and supply chains management, the ports of Houston and Antwerp vowed they are committed to continuing their working together to build the trans-Atlantic supply chain of the future.

The ports have been working together for several years and share similarities in the various types of cargo handled, including breakbulk cargo and containers.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by executives of the ports in 2014, and a representative of the Port of Antwerp works in Houston.

Trade between Port Houston and the Port of Antwerp this year will exceed six million t, and one out of every three tonnes shipped between Antwerp and the US is handled in Houston. This volume is growing steadily. Tonnage between 2011 and 2015 grew 5%, with container volume growing 38% during that same time period.

A highlight of the seminar was a royal medal of distinction bestowed by Princess Astrid of Belgium to Port Houston Chairman Janiece Longoria, recognising her leadership in the maritime industry.

The chairman noted that Belgium and Texas share a longstanding history, dating back to before Texas declared its independence in 1836. Texas exported cotton, corn and other cargo to Belgium at that time, while Belgium exported, iron, tea, beer and other items to Texas.

Currently, the ports have been working to improve their joint customers’ supply chains. Shippers contacted involved in the initiative have expressed interest in the joint approach as it pertains to helping deliver innovative solutions that have the potential to make their supply chains more robust.

Port Houston Executive Director Roger Guenther and Port of Antwerp Chief Executive Officer-designate Jacques Vandermeiren participated in the seminar. Vandermeiren will become the permanent CEO as of 1 January 2017.

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