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Port of Houston Climbs from 7th to 5th in Container Shipments

Posted on May 11, 2023

Texas cites volume gains as shippers make contingency plans during protracted dockworker contract negotiations

As shippers continue to shift freight lanes away from West Coast ports, citing congested facilities and labor shortages, one beneficiary of the trend has been Port Houston, which has now risen from the seventh to the fifth rank among U.S. container ports, Texas port officials said this week.

Port Houston rose in the ranking based on the number of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) it handled in 2022, Port Houston Chairman Ric Campo said in a release. “Our import and export volume reached record numbers in 2022 and is considered one of the fastest growing ports in the U.S. in loaded imports and loaded exports, and Houston now owns a 7% market share of the total U.S. container business,” Campo said.

The Gulf Coast facility said it will continue to invest in infrastructure and capabilities to reinforce that momentum, approving a $30 million budget appropriation for various operations, infrastructure, and other contracts. “As cargo continues to flow according to the path of least resistance, we must continue investing in our growth to remain competitive,” Campo said.

The shift in container flows comes as negotiations continue over an expired labor contract between dockworkers represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and port facility operators represented by the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).


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