The Port of Houston’s container volume has slowed down due to COVID-19 with June’s volumes down 16% year-on-year while throughput for the first half of the year fell 2%.
For the full year so far, the port has handled approximately 40,000 teu less than 2019 – which was a record year – with a total of 1.4m teu. In June alone, Port Houston handled 210,932 teu down from the 251,488 teu handled last year.
Roger Guenther, executive director at Port Houston, said: “It is impossible to predict at this point how long these trends will continue. However, we continue to plan for the future.
“I am confident that our resilient economy, and the cargo exported and imported, will rebound quickly in our region when the pandemic begins to ease.”
Total tonnage for June was down 7% with steel, breakbulk and autos all down compared to the same period last year although grain and bulk cargo trade lanes showed increases.
Port Houston has continued to develop the necessary infrastructure to meet or exceed customer needs and, in April, the US Army Corps of Engineers signed off on the Houston Ship Channel Expansion – Project 11.
Congressional approval is anticipated to follow later this year which would allow construction to begin in 2021.
The port was also awarded a nearly US$80m INFRA grant to help restore and improve wharf and yard space at its Barbours Cut Container Terminal.