Port of Houston's Bayport Terminal. Photo: Port of Houston Authority

Port Houston Reports Record Container Volumes in July

Mike Schuler
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August 25, 2021

Port Houston eked out its busiest month ever for containers in July, handling 297,621 twenty-foot equivalent units.

The figure marks an increase of 27% year-over-year and an increase of just 224 TEUs compared to the previous all-time record set in March 2021.

Year-to-date Port Houston reports a 15% increase in TEUs compared to 2020, which was a record year for containers in Houston and surpassed the 3 million TEU mark.

July is the fifth month this year for double-digit growth in containers. Echoing other ports, Port Houston says consumers are spending at unprecedented levels, driving an increase in cargo across all commodities even as the global supply chain experiences significant challenges like schedule disruptions, the bunching of vessels, and workforce strain.

“Port Houston is not immune to many of the challenges facing our industry and we are committed to addressing these head-on,” said Roger Guenther, Executive Director at Port Houston. “Our team works tirelessly to deliver the reliability and efficiency our customers expect and deserve, and we continue to invest in our infrastructure so we are ready for future growth.”

The Port Commission in July approved a nearly $37 million contract to purchase three new dockside electric container cranes for Wharf No. 6 at Bayport Container Terminal, which is currently under construction. Additionally, Port Houston received five new hybrid rubber-tired gantry cranes and another four are expected to arrive later this month. These improvements are part of the larger strategic plan to optimize infrastructure and Houston Ship Channel capacity to better serve the region.

General cargo was also up 5% for the month compared to July 2020. Auto imports saw big gains with an increase of 58% over July 2020. Steel exports were down in July, though steel imports were up 17%. Overall, total cargo at Port Houston was up 5% in July.

In late July, the port’s two container terminals, Bayport and Barbours Cut, suffered from a hardware failure of its terminal operating system that disrupted operations for as many as 3 days.

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