Sport Traffic Metrics: Houston, North Carolina

Business Steady for Port of Houston Authority 

Nearly 3 million tons of cargo crossed the Port of Houston Authority’s docks – a steady business, said Executive Director Roger Guenther in his monthly report to the port commission that "demonstrates the Port Authority’s resiliency and the diversity of its operations."

In detail, the February data show a 12 percent drop in general cargo, driven primarily by a drop in import steel. Container volume, however, held steady, with an increase of 1.0 percent from February 2015.

Mr. Guenther noted that at the same time last year, loaded container volume jumped nearly 18 percent, due to the diversion of cargo from the West Coast. He emphasized that the decline of just 2.0 percent experienced during the first two months of 2016 demonstrated "we have successfully retained a tremendous amount of the business that was diverted."

Growth is one of the port authority’s four strategic goals. Mr. Guenther highlighted recent growth accomplishments – a new service with ACL/Grimaldi Lines and lease agreements with AGRO Merchants Group and Ridge Development – as examples of progress. 

In other business, the port commission entered into an amendment and renewal of its memorandum of understanding with the Panama Canal Authority. It also entered into a Memorandum of Friendship and Trade Cooperation with the Gabon Ports and Harbors Authority-OPRAG. 

North Carolina State Ports Authority Container Volume Up 7.7% in February

The North Carolina State Ports Authority (SPA) reports container movements this February through its Wilmington terminals increased 7.7 percent from a year ago. That followed an 8.4 percent increase year-over-year in January and put the port on course to a second consecutive record year.

"Last year we broke the authority record in terms of TEUs moved due to a number of new services, diversions, and our lack of congestion," said Ports Authority CEO Paul J. Cozza. "This year we’ve been able to sustain that positive momentum with our best-in-class efficiencies and superior customer service."

The SPA enjoyed a banner year in fiscal 2015 with an 18 percent increase in containerized cargo volumes, making Wilmington one of the fastest growing container ports on the U.S. East Coast. July/June is the port authority’s fiscal year.

The SPA is moving forward with a $100 million investment in infrastructure improvements, including new cranes, an enhanced berth, and a wider turning basin that will enable Wilmington to handle container vessels of up to 10,000-TEU capacity.

Good news comes, too, from the SPA’s Morehead City port facility, where cargo tonnage rose 19 percent year-on-year "due to an influx of new accounts, including imported grains."

The SPA’s ports in Wilmington and Morehead City and inland terminals in Charlotte and in Greensboro link North Carolina’s consumers, businesses, and industry to world markets, and serve as magnets to attract new business and industry while receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. Port activities statewide support 76,000 jobs and generate $700 million annually year in state and local tax revenues.