Port Houston Continues to Grow
HOUSTON, TX Container activity at Port Houston's Barbours Cut and Bayport facilities increased twenty-two percent, Executive Director Roger Guenther reported.
Additionally, all Port Houston facilities handled 28.8 million tons of cargo year to date, a nine percent increase over the first three quarters of 2016. Container volume alone recorded an eleven percent increase versus last year, and in September surpassed the 1.8-million twenty-foot equivalent unit mark.
"We remain confident of continued growth in the container sector, both on the import and export side, during the remainder of this year and into 2018," Guenther said.
Terminal operations recovered very well following the events of Hurricane Harvey, the executive director reported to the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority, during the regular monthly meeting.
"We anticipated that we would receive most of the cargo that was initially diverted following the storm...and we did," he said.
General cargo facilities handled nearly 400 thousand tons of steel, "which is a large volume as we caught up for the week or more of time lost due to the storm," Guenther said. "Port Houston's results remain strong overall for the year."
Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria lauded the support given by industry and Port Houston employees following the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The commission later formally acknowledged relief funds donated by South Carolina Ports employees and the American Association of Port Authorities Port Employee Relief Fund (AAPA) and provided to qualified Port Houston employees impacted by the storm.
The commission also acknowledged the Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts by Georgia Ports Authority employees and the greater Savannah community. Those relief supplies were provided in four twenty-foot equivalent containers and sent to Houston by that port. A portion of those supplies were made available to Port Houston employees impacted by Harvey, and the balance of those items was donated to local relief agencies.
During the meeting, Port Houston employees were also recognized for their donation of about $120,000 to the Employee Catastrophic Assistance Fund for their fellow employees adversely impacted by the historic weather event.
Other actions taken by the Port Commission further demonstrated its commitment to sustaining growth for Port Houston. The commission authorized an agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for the construction and operation of a rail spur across Texas State Highway 146 and Red Bluff Road, to facilitate in a phased approach future intermodal service to the Bayport Container Terminal.
The Commission also approved an Industry Track Agreement with Union Pacific Railroad for track and switch modifications at the Bayport Terminal. Construction of the spur and crossing and the track agreement support the development of Phase One of the Bayport Master Rail Plan, as well as rail service to the 56-acres being developed at Bayport South.
Finally, the Port Commission was pleased with the delivery to Port Houston of three super post-panamax wharf cranes. These new cranes bring to seven the total number of cranes with this size and capacity operating at Barbours Cut, and are part of a $700 million modernization program underway at the terminal to further its increase cargo handling efficiency and capacity.