Container volume at Port Houston container terminals remains vigorous as cargo movement continues to lead last year’s pace showing a 10 percent growth through the third quarter. In 2015, history was made when Port Houston broke the 2 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) barrier for the first time.
“In fact, we already passed the 2 Million TEU mark in September, the earliest by far that we have reached that milestone,” Executive Director Roger Guenther said in his report to the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority during its regular monthly meeting held Tuesday. All indicators point toward container activity to maintain this stride through the end of the year.
“There is still a lot of activity across our docks and the trends are positive through Port Houston terminals as we make the stretch run through the end of 2018,” Guenther said.
Import steel at Port Houston terminals continues at a solid rate through the third quarter, pushed by the strength of production in the energy sector, Guenther noted in his report. The general cargo terminals handled 3.5 million tons year-to-date with more than 478,000 tons in steel recorded in September alone. Overall tonnage for the year reflects a healthy growth of 8 percent over last year, with more than 31 million tons recorded.
The Port Commission continues its steadfast diligence in strategically planning for the busiest seaport in the U.S. Gulf and in turn, acted on several agenda items, including approving the purchase of eight new rubber-tired gantry (RTG) cranes for Barbours Cut Container Terminal. The addition of these new RTG cranes will add even further to the efficient handling of the rapid growth that continues at Port Houston’s container facilities.
The Commission received an operations update that the Bayport terminal will no longer offer extended gate hours as of Dec. 7. While the container terminals routinely averaged more than 600 moves an hour and had marked several record-breaking days of moves this year, the light traffic volume during the extended evening hours offered by the port to the trucking industry the past 13 months, does not warrant the additional hours provided. The commission was also notified to expect a formal request for approval at the November Budget Meeting for a General Rate Increase equal to CPI effective Jan. 1, 2019.
In lieu of its regular meeting, the Port Commission will hold its annual Budget Workshop on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 9:00 am, followed by a legislative workshop. The next regular meeting will be held Wednesday, December 12th.
Source: Port of Houston