Port Houston has announced its biggest month ever for loaded exports in October, recording a 6 per cent increase compared to last October.
Port Houston’s loaded exports have gone up 10 per cent year-to-date (YTD), reaching 1.15 million TEU through October 2023. Loaded import volumes at Port Houston in October went down 4 per cent compared to last October and down 7 per cent for the year as compared to last year.
Compared to pre-pandemic volumes, however, total container imports are up 32 per cent through October compared to the same period in 2019. Total container volumes for the first ten months of this year total 3.2 million TEU, reflecting a slight decrease of 4 per cent compared to last year’s record volumes.
Recently, the first vessel docked at the newly completed Wharf 6 at Port Houston’s Bayport Container Terminal. With the addition of this berth, equipped with three of the latest generation of Neo-Panamax ship to shore (STS) cranes, Port Houston is focused on adding capacity for enhanced terminal fluidity.
“We are excited to announce the arrival of the first vessel at our newest wharf, which symbolises a bright future for the port and the culmination of more than five years of planning,” said Roger Guenther, Executive Director at Port Houston.
“This addition was a significant infrastructure investment and demonstrates our commitment to creating a dependable and efficient terminal environment for our customers.”
Bayport Wharf 7 is slated to be commissioned in 2025, the same year reconstruction of Barbours Cut Wharves 5 and 6 will be completed. On the water side, expansion of the channel to Bayport is expected to be completed in 2024 with Barbours Cut to follow in 2026.
These channel expansions will reportedly allow safe, unrestricted navigation of 14,000 – 15,000 TEU class Neo-Panamax ships.
Total tonnage through Port Houston is down 7 per cent YTD compared to 2022, at 42.4 million short tonnes. Steel volumes are down 13 per cent this year through October. Auto import units increased this month, up 50 per cent in October 2023 compared to October 2022.
This achievement comes a month after the port set its most recent record for loaded exports in September 2023.