Officials for the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority convened for the first time in-person since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to discuss the recent figures from port operations.
Roger Guenther, Executive Director of the Port of Houston Authority, began the 5 October meeting by highlighting the record-breaking month for cargo volumes the port experienced in August 2021, handling a total of 320,086 TEU, an increase of 29% compared to the same period in 2020.
Also revealed was a dramatic increase in import steel and other general cargo commodities handled throughout its facilities.
Guenther continued to say that he expects elevated levels occurring in the supply chain to continue well into 2022.
The port authority also recently received the draft report for the Goods Movement Emissions Inventory (GMEI) which updated emissions data from 2013 to 2019.
This updated report showed improvements in nearly every category as the public terminal’s emissions were lowered by between 15% and 93% for all evaluated pollutants across the board in 2019 compared to 2013.
The lowered emissions may be partially due to the increased use of hybrid-electric rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) cranes, also highlighted by Guenther. The yard now utilises 31 RTGs which reduce emissions by up to 70% to 90% over older diesel models.
Other methods Port Houston has looked to reduce its carbon emissions is through purchasing five Chevy Bolt electric vehicles and three charging stations. Announced in June 2020, the new fleet will be powered by electricity and have large batteries instead of combustion engines, the vehicles are now being used in several departments across the port’s operations.