Photo courtesy Port Houston

Port Houston Finishes Record First Quarter

Mike Schuler
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April 18, 2022

Port Houston on the U.S. Gulf Coast is following in the footsteps of rival ports on the West and East coast in reporting its busiest start to the year ever in 2022.

Port Houston on Monday reported March container volumes totalling 308,557 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), bringing the total for just the first three months of 2022 to 903,383 TEUs—an increase of 20% year-to-date over last year’s record year.

“Port Houston is constantly evaluating growth within the industry and developing innovative solutions to accommodate that growth,” Port Houston Executive Director Roger Guenther said. “We know that velocity of goods is of the utmost importance to our customers and we continue to evaluate our procedures and infrastructure to improve efficiency.”

Cargo at Port Houston’s multi-purpose facility at City Docks is also growing, with general cargo up 18% in March and 23% year to date. Steel imports are up 131% and Bagged Goods imports are up 164% year to date through March. Auto units are down 34% for the year.

Port Houston’s record first quarter cargo volumes come as the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Charleston have also experienced their busiest first quarters ever in Q1 as they work to move aging cargo from docks and reduce the backlog of ships waiting to unload. In Los Angeles and Long Beach, Q1 2022 was actually their busiest quarter ever—not just in the first quarter.

“In March, Port Houston waived dockage for ships waiting at anchor that could berth while waiting for gang assignments in order to accelerate the working of vessels and move cargo through the port faster. Port Houston also recently added an additional hour to the daily gate schedule and announced regular Saturday gate hours starting in June. Port Houston has accelerated projects at its container terminals, for example doubling gate capacity at Barbours Cut Container Terminal in March,” Port Houston said.

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