This August Port Houston recorded its highest month ever for total TEUs at 320,086, an increase of 29% compared to last August, according to the company’s release.
It also was its highest monthly loaded import TEUs on record, at 159,791 TEUs. Year-to-date, Port Houston has surpassed the 2M TEU mark, with 2,225,500 TEUs compared to 1,911,176 TEUs in 2020, a 16% increase. New importers to the Houston area that have realigned their gateway strategy and distribution center networks, combined with increased consumer spending and retailers building up inventory to meet that demand are driving the record levels of TEUs.
This six-month streak of double-digit growth is particularly notable given the ongoing challenges in the supply chain. With holiday season shopping on the horizon, containerized cargo is expected to remain strong through what is shaping up to be an extended peak season through Barbours Cut and Bayport Container Terminals.
One major project that is underway is the Houston Ship Channel Expansion – Project 11, where the nation’s busiest channel will be widened and deepened under an accelerated timeline. On August 19 Port Houston and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers celebrated the signing of their joint project partnership agreement, a major milestone for the transformative project. The $1.1 billion projects could be complete as soon as 2026, allowing for larger, neo-Panamax-sized container vessels to call Houston.
Port Houston continues to meet with cargo owners, ocean carriers, trucking companies, stevedores, chassis providers, and ILA representatives to explore creative solutions to meet the collective and regional challenges to effectively serve the strong increase in volumes to the region. Port Houston continues to drive the conversation forward to address the challenges happening at most U.S. Ports. General cargo at Port Houston was also up in August at 6% year-to-date compared to 2020 YTD, and up 22% for the month compared to August 2020. Steel imports jumped 159% in August compared to the same month last year, a positive sign of the strengthened energy sector. Bagged goods saw a 7% decrease, while auto imports increased 173% this August compared to the same month last year.
About Port Houston
For more than 100 years, Port Houston has owned and operated the public wharves and terminals along the Houston Ship Channel, including the area’s largest breakbulk facility and two of the most efficient container terminals in the country. Port Houston is the advocate and a strategic leader for the Channel. The Houston Ship Channel complex and its more than 200 public and private terminals, collectively known as the Port of Houston, is the nation’s largest port for the waterborne tonnage and an essential economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas, and the U.S. The Port of Houston supports the creation of nearly 1.35 million jobs in Texas and 3.2 million jobs nationwide, and economic activity totaling $339 billion in Texas – 20.6 percent of Texas’ total gross domestic product (GDP) – and $801.9 billion in economic impact across the nation.