Port Houston sees positive signs despite falling traffic

Aerial view of the Port of Houston, Texas as shot from an altitude of about 2000 feet during a helicopter photo flight.

Port Houston has continued to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic but claimed it has seen positive signs for the near-future, including record gate moves and extra loaders.

In a statement, the Port said its traffic was 10% down year-on-year (YoY) in July and 3% in the first seven months of 2020. However, it noted that traffic was up 8% on the first seven months of 2018.

Total tonnage at Port Houston for July was down 6%, with steel, breakbulk cargo and autos all down compared to July of last year, although grain and bulk cargo again showed increases, as they did in June.

A recent uptick in activity included two record days for truck transactions at the Barbours Cut Container Terminal in July.

“Our team at the Barbours Cut Container Terminal processed more than 4,000 trucks each day, moving this cargo efficiently through our gates and into stores and homes,” Executive Director Roger Guenther said.

Another positive sign, Port Houston said it received one extra loader in July to handle peak TransPacific volumes and is expecting four more in August. Blank sailings appear to be decreasing in August as well.

“These are bright spots we are hopeful will continue,” Guenther continued.

Ports across the US have suffered substantially due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the West Coast experiencing severe drops in traffic.

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