The Port of Houston Authority (PHA) expresses its deepest sympathies to our colleagues at the ports of New Orleans, Louisiana; Mobile, Alabama; and Gulfport and Pascagoula, Mississippi. We sincerely hope that these great Gulf Coast ports can get back to work as soon as possible to continue participating in the daily functions that are so essential to the vitality of our region’s economy and its leadership in trade and commerce.

Cargoes originally destined for New Orleans, Mobile, Gulfport, and Pascagoula are now being redirected to other ports. Some of those shipments are expected to come to Houston, but right now it is hard to predict how much and/or for how long. It is not known how long the damaged Gulf Coast ports will be shut down.

The PHA has already received cargo from redirected ships that were already coming to its Barbours Cut Container Terminal (BCT). The vessels have discharged all of their New Orleans cargo at BCT, which included more than 500 units that were originally booked for New Orleans on two ships. The PHA has been notified by a few carriers that additional cargo will be discharged at BCT. So far, however, the PHA has not seen any vessels diverted to BCT that were not already scheduled to call at the terminal.

The PHA has been receiving many inquiries from various carriers, but so far not many ships have been diverted to Houston. Most ships are calling at Houston’s port facilities as part of their normal rotations.

It is possible, however, that could change over the next few days and weeks as a result of the hurricane damage at the ports in New Orleans, Mobile, Gulfport, and Pascagoula.

The cargo ship Indotrans Flores was originally scheduled to make calls at New Orleans and Pascagoula but it has been diverted to Houston’s City Dock 27. It will arrive on the evening of Wednesday, August 31 with 3,000 tons of rubber and 2,000 cubic meters of timber that are destined for Oklahoma. The vessel will begin being unloaded on the morning of Thursday, September 1. P&O Ports will be the stevedore.

The PHA’s public facilities can handle virtually every type of cargo—including containers, general cargo, grain, dry bulk materials, project and heavy-lift cargo. The PHA is committed to providing excellent facilities that offer customers efficient services at competitive prices in combination with excellent road, rail and waterway connections, cooperative relationships with labor, and access to management.

The PHA and local private warehouse storage companies that are certified by the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT) have substantial immediate capacity available for receiving and storing shipments of green coffee. The PHA has been an approved delivery point for Coffee “C” futures contracts traded on the NYBOT’s Coffee, Sugar & Cocoa Exchange since 2003.