Top Ports I - Global Trade Magazine
  April 20th, 2015 | Written by

Top Ports I

PORT OF CORPUS CHRISTI
John LaRue, executive director

FTZ No. 122
Big Ship Ready: Target of 2017
Rail: BNSF, KCS, UP
Highways: I-37, I-69
Days to Nigeria: 21
Top Exports: Crude Oil, Gasoline, Diesel
Cargo Types: Break Bulk, Break Grain, Chemical

What infrastructure additions has the port made to support shippers over the past two years?
We started a $300 million channel-improvement project, the first phase extending about a mile and half, and already have two new companies on that channel: Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine, which has a $750 million plant under construction, and Cheniere of Houston, which will begin construction on a $12 billion LNG facility in two or three months.

What type of cargo does your port specialize in, and what assets offer shippers advantages with this type of cargo?
We do a lot of wind turbine activity, probably one of the three or four ports in the U.S. handling wind components. We work closely with wind manufacturers and railroads and have been able to shift a lot from truck to rail. The railroads have built special cars to accommodate the blades.

What’s your elevator pitch?
We are an energy port, that’s what we focus on. We’re going to be the port where you can have the most competitive land prices, most competitive labor. You’ll find a community here that is open to energy-related industry.

 

PORT OF HOUSTON
Roger Guenther, executive director

FTZ No. 84
Big Ship Ready: Yes
Rail: BNSF, UP
Highways: I-10, I-45, U.S./I-69
Days to China: 24
Top Exports: Plastics, Petroleum,
Cargo Types: Containers, Break Bulk, Dry Bulk

What infrastructure additions has the port made to support shippers over the past two years?
In general, we’ve begun a $700-800 million phasing redevelopment at our Barbours Cut terminal. Just recently, we’ve completed 1,300 feet of renovated wharf in preparation for four new Super Post-Panamax cranes that are actually fully constructed and on the water now, headed to Houston and will arrive in early May.

What do you have in place to get trucks in and out fast?
A recent, significant addition has been a $35 million gate facility at our Bayport terminal. It’s state-of-the-art with a new operating system that allows for expedient service for our truckers [to get] in and out of our facility. We average about 35-minute turnarounds.

What exciting developments are on the horizon?
The excitement is not just the long term opportunity of a growing population, the energy community or expansion of the Panama Canal but the culture we have here; how our business stakeholders—everyone from the pilots to the Army Corps of Engineers to our public officials—are willing to serve to move things ahead.

 

PORT OF GALVESTON
Capt. John G. Peterlin III, senior director of Marketing and Administration

FTZ No. 36
Big Ship Ready: No
Rail: BNSF, UP
Highways: I-45
Days to Europe: 14
Top Exports: Bulk Grains, General Cargoes, Misc. Containers
Cargo Types: Container, Break Bulk, Dry Bulk

What’s your most under-appreciated asset?
I think it’s our breakbulk and project cargo terminal, which has that connectivity with the BNSF railway and the Union Pacific railway. We’ve been doing a lot of wind energy cargoes at that terminal. The Port of Galveston enjoys probably the best railroad clearances with both railroads.

What’s your biggest locational advantage?
We’ve been blessed with our geography—being in Texas which has an extremely strong economy, and we’re 25 miles south of the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country. We’re only nine to 12 miles from the harbor pilot station, which is a huge advantage to us. One of the port’s greatest strengths has always been its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico.

What’s your elevator pitch?
If you’re looking for a port that has high productivity, high quality and experience with very low damages, we can give you all the amenities you need in terms of transportation and logistics access to one of your biggest and most economically active markets in the country, as well as access to the Midwest.

PORT FREEPORT, TEXAS
FTZ No. 149
Big Ship Ready: Target of 2020
Rail: UP
Highways: Hwy 36, Hwy 288
Days to Central America: 3
Top Exports: Rice, Chemicals, General Cargo
Cargo Types: Containers, Liquid Bulk

PORT OF LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA
FTZ No. 87
Big Ship Ready: No
Rail: BNSF, UP, Kansas City Southern
Highways: I-10, I-210
Days to South America: 10
Top Exports: Petrochemical, Rice, Bagged Goods
Cargo Types: Break Bulk, Dry Bulk

PORT OF GREATER BATON ROUGE
FTZ No. 154
Big Ship Ready: No
Rail: UP, CN, Kansas City Southern
Highways: I-10
Top Exports: Grain, Forest Products, Chemicals
Cargo Types: Containers, Bulk, Ro/Ro

 

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