The Port of Houston only just missed out on matching its TEU traffic record for the first half of the year as trade fell by 2% year-on-year (YoY), according to its financial results.
In a statement, the Port said it handled 1,427,809 TEU between January and the end of June 2020, down from 1,461,409 TEU in the same period in 2019, its half-year record.
However, TEU traffic for June was down 16% YoY, demonstrating that the COVID-19 pandemic is still substantially affecting operations. The Port saw most non-containerised traffic fall, including steel, breakbulk and cars but grain and bulk cargo increased.
It described the slowdown as “not surprising” when taken in the context of the global crisis caused by the pandemic and hesitated to predict how its performance will fare.
“It is impossible to predict at this point how long these trends will continue,” Executive Director Roger Guenther said.
“However, we continue to plan for the future. I am confident that our resilient economy, and the cargo exported and imported, will rebound quickly in our region when the pandemic begins to ease.”
Additionally, the Port said it continues to develop the necessary infrastructure to meet or exceed customer needs.
In April, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed off on the Houston Ship Channel Expansion – Project 11 and congressional approval is anticipated this year that would allow for construction to start in 2021.
In June Port Houston was awarded a nearly $80 million INFRA grant to help restore and improve wharf and yard space at its Barbours Cut Container Terminal.