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Port Traffic Metrics: Houston

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Port of Houston Authority Business Remains Solid

Chairman Janiece Longoria presiding at the May 24 meeting of Houston Port
Photo/Business Wire

The Port of Houston Authority continues to deflect the softness in the upstream oil and gas sector "due to a sound execution of its business model," commented Executive Director Roger Guenther in his report to the port commission during its regular monthly meeting on May 24. Container operations showed strength, while steel imports, primarily tubular products, followed the downward nationwide trend.

The port authority reported strong financials, and despite a 12 percent decline due to steel, still handled nearly 12 million tons of cargo year-to-date.

Mr. Guenther indicated his he expectation of a significant increase in volume due to the arrival of the 2M Asian service: Maersk Line’s TP18 service and Mediterranean Shipping Company’s Lone Star Express service. This new 2M Asian service is scheduled to make its first call at Bayport Container Terminal on June 5. "Houston is rapidly increasing its position as a major gateway for trans-Pacific trade to the U.S and we are proud of that," Mr. Guenther said.

The port commission approved more than $88 million in infrastructure investments, all directly tied to the port authority’s strategic plan. That included $13 million for channel improvement projects and more than $75 million for new construction and redevelopment of port authority terminals.

Among the channel improvement ventures approved by the commissioners was a partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which allows the beneficial use of clay mined from an area known as the Bayport Flare. This cost-shared project will make it easier to navigate deep-draft vessels along the Houston Ship Channel, and supports the port authority’s effort to ensure its readiness for the expanded commerce it is experiencing both now and as the new Panama Canal expansion comes on line.

Clay from the Bayport Flare will be used to create marshes along the channel, as part of the port authority’s continuing commitment to improvement of environmental features in Galveston Bay. Work on the Bayport Flare and these environmental enhancements is expected to start soon after the completion of the deepening and widening of the Bayport Ship Channel by the Port Authority, scheduled for this fall.




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