In a continued performance streak, Port Houston’s November 2020 container activity set a new record for November TEUs, marking the second record-breaking month in a row for containers and helping pave the way for a strong finish for the year.
Port Houston handled 7% more containers this November than last, recording 262,930 TEUs compared to November of 2019, when 245,738 TEUs were handled.
“Our fourth quarter is shaping up to be the best in our history,” Executive Director Roger Guenther said. “The past 11 months we have handled 2.72 million TEUs, which puts us virtually flat compared to our 2019 record year. Importers are taking advantage of Houston’s consistent and solid vessel productivity and quick truck turn times through our gates at Bayport and Barbours Cut. Houston is not only the “International Port of Texas,” supporting the nation’s #1 export state, we’re also well positioned to handle the huge pipeline of imports and exports across mid America. We’re making history in Houston.”
Guenther is optimistic that the rebound in container volumes at Port Houston will continue for the rest of this year and into 2021. Projections for next year indicate additional growth in containers and, despite the pandemic, Port Houston has continued aggressively expanding and preparing its facilities while simultaneously undertaking improvements of the Houston Ship Channel to handle larger vessels. Port Houston expanded wharves and added container yard space in addition to commissioning four new rubber-tire-gantry cranes earlier in the month, with three more scheduled for December delivery.
Breakbulk volume at Port Houston is down about 40% compared to last year, with steel, automobiles, and general cargo all down at the public facilities Port Houston manages, primarily attributed to the downturn in energy production. Movements of grain and bulk cargo are up, however.
Port Houston is the sixth largest container port in the United States and is the dominant container port on the U.S. Gulf Coast, handling more than two-thirds of all the containers in the gulf. Port Houston’s terminals and the nearly 200 private terminals along the Houston Ship Channel were recently ranked number one for waterborne tonnage.