Port Houston Achieves Record-Breaking Month for Loaded Exports
Port Houston has set a new record for loaded exports in October, marking a 6% increase compared to the same month last year. The port’s loaded exports have seen a remarkable 10% year-to-date growth, reaching 1,151,638 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) by October 2023, primarily driven by resins and chemicals. As the leading resins port in the nation and home to North America’s largest petrochemical cluster, Port Houston continues to play a pivotal role in the export landscape.
In contrast, loaded import volumes at Port Houston for October experienced a 4% decrease compared to the previous year, contributing to a 7% year-to-date decline. However, when compared to pre-pandemic levels, total container imports have surged by 32% through October, showcasing a substantial recovery. The total container volumes for the first ten months of the year reached 3,201,958 TEUs, a marginal 4% decrease from last year’s record volumes.
Port Houston remains committed to operational efficiency, focusing on the Bayport and Barbours Cut Container Terminals. The recent completion of Wharf 6 at Port Houston’s Bayport Container Terminal, equipped with advanced Neo-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes, signals the port’s dedication to enhancing terminal capacity. The addition of berths aims to facilitate smoother operations for both import and export customers relying on Port Houston’s container terminals.
Roger Guenther, Executive Director at Port Houston, expressed excitement about the completion of the new wharf, highlighting it as a significant infrastructure investment reflecting the port’s commitment to creating a reliable and efficient terminal environment. The commissioning of Bayport Wharf 7 is scheduled for 2025, aligning with the completion of the reconstruction of Barbours Cut Wharves 5 and 6 in the same year. Additionally, channel expansions for safe navigation of Neo-Panamax ships are expected to be completed in 2024 for Bayport and in 2026 for Barbours Cut.
Despite a 7% year-to-date decrease in total tonnage compared to 2022, at 42,421,735 short tons, the port has seen a notable increase in auto import units, up by 50% in October 2023 compared to the same month in 2022. The port continues to adapt and invest in infrastructure to support its role as a crucial gateway for both imports and exports.