Port Houston at Mid-Year: Cargo Up 24%

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Port Houston Executive Director Roger Guenther provided a mid-year cargo report to the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority during its regular monthly meeting on August 2. “We’re at the halfway point of 2022, and Port Houston business is strong across the board,” he said. “Total tonnage across all the public facilities is up 24% year-to-date.”

Guenther noted that general cargo tonnage through June was double last year’s volume. “Import steel is at levels we haven’t seen in nearly a decade,” he said, as the public general cargo facilities recorded 2.7 million tons through June. Port Houston’s public container terminals additionally handled 1.9 million twenty-foot-equivalent units through June, an increase of 18%.

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During the meeting the Port Commission authorized more than $150 million in awards towards improvements in infrastructure and operation of the Houston Ship Channel and Port Houston.

The commission approved a $40 million contract for purchasing three dockside electric ship-to-shore (STS) container cranes for Bayport Terminal. Executive staff noted this investment would permit Bayport Terminal to handle 15,000 TEU ships, aligning with Port Houston’s investment in the Houston Ship Channel Expansion Program – Project 11, aimed to accommodate larger vessels calling the region.

The Port Commission also approved a $65 million purchase of 26 new hybrid-electric rubber-tired-gantry (RTG) yard cranes. Adding to the 116 RTG fleet at the two terminals, these new cranes aim to reduce emissions by 70%. Port Houston’s investments in electric and hybrid terminal equipment also align with its goal of working towards net carbon neutrality by 2050.

Another agenda highlight was more than $31 million invested in Barbours Cut Terminal for the reconstruction of Container Yards 4 North and 5 North, totaling 87 acres.

Finally, the meeting marked the first anniversary of the launch of Port Houston’s Business Equity Division. The work of the division in supporting one of Port Houston’s primary strategic goals has included leading a heightened focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, implementing the organization’s Minority/Woman-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) program, and carrying out enhanced Small Business Development activities.

The next regular Port Commission meeting is on September 27.

About Port Houston

For more than 100 years, Port Houston has owned and operated the public wharves and terminals along the Houston Ship Channel, including the area’s largest breakbulk facility and two of the most efficient container terminals in the country. Port Houston is the advocate and a strategic leader for the Channel.

The Houston Ship Channel complex and its more than 200 public and private terminals, collectively known as the Port of Houston, is the nation’s largest port for waterborne tonnage and an essential economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas and the U.S.

The Port of Houston supports the creation of nearly 1.35 million jobs in Texas and 3.2 million jobs nationwide, and economic activity totaling $339 billion in Texas – 20.6 percent of Texas’ total gross domestic product (GDP) – and $801.9 billion in economic impact across the nation. For more information, visit the website at PortHouston.com.

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