Port Houston reported its second-busiest month for cargo containers on record in September, handling 353,525 twenty-foot equivalent units.
It was a 26% year-over-year (y/y) increase compared to September 2021 and the second-highest month ever for container volumes at the port, following an all-time record set in August with 382,842 TEUs. Railway Goods Rate
Port officials said the rising volumes are due to increased demand for imported goods, as well as adding weekend hours and other efficiencies to the facilities. Overall, container volume is up 18% year to date at Port Houston’s terminals and is nearing the 3 million-TEU mark.
“We are doing everything we can to maintain fluidity at our terminals,” Roger Guenther, executive director at Port Houston, said in a news release. “We’ve created additional temporary space on the terminals and accelerated our investments in additional container yards. We want to encourage [customers] to take advantage of the recently added Saturday gate hours in addition to our weekday gates.”
The port commission also recently approved the purchase of 26 hybrid-electric rubber tired gantry cranes and three new electric ship-to-shore cranes for a total of $106 million.
Steel imports were up 32% y/y in September at 439,063 tons and year to date are up 76% at over 4 million tons.
Demand for steel products in the Texas oil and gas drilling industry has boosted imports, including materials such as line pipe, structural pipe and tubing.
Steel exports from Port Houston declined 70% y/y in September to 1,539 tons.
Port Houston also received a boost from auto imports, which were up 241% y/y in September and up 4% year to date.
Loaded container TEU imports in September rose 31% y/y to 177,979, while loaded container exports for the month increased 47% to 102,744 TEUs.
Empty export container TEUs decreased 5% y/y to 62,837. Empty import container TEUs fell 1% y/y to 9,964 TEUs.
Total tonnage year to date through September at Port Houston’s facilities is up 18% compared to 2021 at 25 million tons.
Port Houston recorded 675 ship calls in September, a 9% y/y decrease from 2021. Barge calls for September totaled 457, a 39% y/y increase compared to last year.
Click for more FreightWaves articles by Noi Mahoney.
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