Port Houston has seen a robust demand for loaded export containers in March, despite a nationwide softening of imports.
Loaded export volumes at Port Houston reached 349,964 TEU year-to-date.
According to data, this is the highest monthly volume for loaded exports in its history, with a 26 per cent increase in the first quarter of this year compared to last and a 10 per cent increase compared to March 2022.
Empty import volumes climbed 111 per cent for the month compared to the same period last year.
READ: Port Houston posts best container year ever
Despite a 3 per cent decline in total TEU in March, container volumes through Port Houston are on track to hit 1 million TEU earlier in the year than ever before, according to the port.
In Q1 2023, Port Houston handled 934,031 TEU per cent, representing an increase of 3 per cent compared to last year.
Port Houston’s Bayport Container Terminal is preparing for the arrival of three new STS cranes and the completion of Wharf 6 later this year, while Barbours Cut Container Terminal is undergoing various improvements with the arrival of seven new RTGs in November and seven in January 2024.
The port also plans to invest $1.4 billion in landside infrastructure over the next five years.
The port recently announced the completion of the first segment of the Houston Ship Channel Expansion – Project 11, which is expected to help increase safety, reduce congestion, and improve vessel transit times by reducing daylight restrictions.
Roger Guenther, Executive Director at Port Houston, said that while there has been a softening of import demand across the US and in Houston, where loaded import container TEU were down 12 per cent in March, “total throughput is offset by the strong export market we have in Houston and our ability to provide both export and import customers excellent customer service, skilled labour, and an efficient gateway.”
Port Houston recorded strong results in February as well, with a total of 313,452 TEU.