Posted on June 16, 2023
HOUSTON – Port Houston terminals handled 1,542,392 TEUs through May 2023, down 2% compared to the record-breaking volumes of 2022.
As seen in markets around the country, import volumes in Houston continue to soften. In May, the Port handled 139,745 TEUs in loaded imports, a 12% reduction from last year but still the second-highest May import volumes in Port Houston’s history following last May’s record year. Year-to-date imports at Port Houston are down by 3%, totaling 781,655 TEUs thus far.
Despite the dip in import volume, Port Houston continues to see growth in loaded exports. Up 3% in May compared to last May, loaded export volumes have reached 569,502 TEUs year-to-date, a 14% increase from the same period last year. Strong exports through Port Houston are expected to continue, due in large part to the continued high demand for resin exports. In fact, Port Houston is the number one resins port in the nation.
U.S. export manufacturers and retail importers have new options to access their international markets. Recently, both Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway announced new intermodal container services at Port Houston. Union Pacific Railroad began on-dock rail service on June 1st to support five key markets, including Denver, Salt Lake City, Oakland, Los Angeles, and El Paso. On June 2, BNSF Railway began rail service to the Greater Dallas/Fort Worth and Denver markets.
“The addition of rail service offers an exciting intermodal option to our customers,” said Roger Guenther, Executive Director at Port Houston. “Port Houston is a Top Five container port and growing fast. These rail options help ensure efficient movement of goods and open up new markets.”
At Port Houston’s multipurpose facilities, steel products like standard rails and oil country tubular goods are up for the year so far, though overall steel imports are down 14% year-to-date, totaling 2,002,029 tons. Auto imports, on the other hand, are up 48% year-to-date. Total tonnage through all Port Houston facilities is down just 2% through May.
“Port Houston is a hub for cargo of all kinds, and the Houston Ship Channel a critical asset for the Houston region, the state of Texas, and the nation,” said Guenther. “The significance of the Channel stretches far and wide: its national economic impact is valued at an astounding $906 billion, and it supports 3.37 million jobs, including more than 1.5 million jobs right here in Texas. Port Houston values its role as local stewards of the Channel and all the people it supports. Continued strong investment in this vital waterway and the public marine terminals we manage is critical to ensuring a resilient supply chain that is always prepared to serve the manufacturers, exporters, importers and consumers that count on us every day.”
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 waterborne tonnage and an essential economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas, and the U.S. The Port of Houston supports 1.54 million jobs in Texas and 3.37 million jobs nationwide, and economic activity totaling $439 billion in Texas – nearly 20 percent of Texas’ total gross domestic product (GDP) – and $906 billion in economic impact across the nation. For more information, visit the website at PortHouston.com.
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