Port Houston Salutes Port Commission Chair

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Posted December 17, 2018

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria was recognized for her 16 years of service to Port Houston during the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority’s last regular monthly meeting of 2018, which was held Wednesday. Chairman Longoria has volunteered on the Port Commission since 2002. She has served in the position of Chairman since she was unanimously appointed by the governing bodies of the City of Houston and Harris County Commissioners Court in a joint session held January 2013. Her six-year term ends in January of 2019.

Actions taken by the Port Commission Wednesday were consistent with Chairman Longoria’s priority to seek continuous support for improvement and maintenance of the Houston Ship Channel. The commission unanimously authorized the Executive Director to negotiate with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for an agreed recommendation to identify and pursue one or more alternatives for the federal feasibility study for improvements to the Houston Ship Channel.

Executive Director Roger Guenther was one of many to praise Chairman Longoria’s leadership. She received several resolutions and expressions of gratitude from elected officials including a video tribute with comments from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Texas State Senator-Elect Carol Alvarado, and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, among others.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick also expressed their appreciation for her service. Texas State Rep. Mary Ann Perez presented a resolution from the State of Texas, and District H Houston City Councilmember Karla Cisneros read a proclamation from the City of Houston.

“It has been my great honor to serve as Port Commission Chairman for the past six years,” said Chairman Longoria in response to the accolades and ovations received throughout the meeting.

During the 2018 State of the Port address to the Greater Houston Partnership held in late November, Guenther highlighted the following accomplishments achieved under Chairman Longoria’s leadership:

  • Most significant growth period in Port Houston’s history - from 1.4 million twenty-foot-equivalent container units (TEU) to a projected 2.7 million TEU annually for calendar 2018 (nearly doubling in six years)
  • More than 13 million TEU passed across Port Houston docks since 2014
  • For the first time ever, container terminals reached and surpassed the 2 million TEU mark in a single year and are positioned to top the 3 million mark - perhaps as early as 2020
  • Growth in Annual Revenue from $215 million to a projected $400 million in the six years ending in calendar 2019
  • Increased Annual Cash Flow from $66 million to $171 million, all of which is reinvested in assets to facilitate continued growth without the need for tax-payer funds. There has been no bond referendum since 2007.
  • Led the effort to self-fund the deepening and widening of the Bayport and Barbours Cut channels and federal Bayport flare safety improvements so that Port Houston would not lose market opportunity
  • Provided leadership during the effective and efficient recovery after Hurricane Harvey, followed by immediate advocacy for more resilient channel improvements
  • Successfully repurposed the former cruise terminal to allow for handling of automobiles, generating revenue and creating jobs
  • Instrumental in the expansion of both the Small Business and Maritime Education programs
  • Port Houston employee pension fund is more than 98 percent funded
  • Founded and maintained continuous engagement of the Citizens Advisory Council of local stakeholders, a testament to her stewardship to the community.

The next Port Commission meeting is scheduled Jan. 29, 2019.

Guenther’s Fourth Quarter 2018 Year-to-Date Operating Statistics Report to the Commission:

  • Container volume solid, outpacing last year by 10 percent
  • Steel is up 21 percent
  • Overall tonnage is up 8 percent

The 2018 Year-End report will be given at the Jan. 29, 2019, Port Commission Regular Meeting.

About Port Houston

For more than 100 years, the port has owned and operated the public wharves and terminals of the Port of Houston – the nation’s largest port for foreign waterborne tonnage and an essential economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas, and the nation. It supports the creation of nearly 1.175 million jobs in Texas and 2.7 million jobs nationwide, and economic activity totaling almost $265 billion in Texas – 16 percent of Texas’ total gross domestic product – and more than $617 billion in economic impact across the nation. 

Source: BusinessWire