Unprecedented demand for cargo has impacted the entire supply chain causing record amounts of cargo. Port Houston is moving historic cargo volumes, but it is not without growing pains. That is why Port Houston is investing a total of $1.1 billion in capital enhancements over the next eight years to better serve our customers.
Did You Know? A twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU), a container, a box - no matter what you call it, it is the most efficient way to move cargo overseas. As Marc Levinson notes in his book The Box, it has “made the world smaller and the world economy bigger,” allowing cargo to flow freely and economies to become international players. The standard TEU is 20 feet long by eight feet high, made of heavy duty, weather and corrosion-resistant steel running vertically, with two doors on its side. When empty, it can weigh 2.24 metric tons and loaded up to 26 metric tons.
More online shopping trends mean more goods moving across Port Houston’s docks, and the need for additional space to store that cargo. Thus, we are seeing distribution centers in the Port Houston region being built to keep up with demand.
Days before Hurricane Laura stormed the coast between Louisiana and Texas with sustained winds up to 150 miles per hour, Port Houston maintenance workers busily went about the task of protecting assets and securing facilities from the much-anticipated stiff winds. This is necessary anytime a storm as ferocious as Hurricane Laura enters the gulf and threatens the gulf coast’s biggest container facility. While Hurricane Laura spared Houston this time, this was a big wake-up call for what may come.
Caption: Neopanamax cranes at Bayport. Three additional cranes are expected to be operational in 2021.
Port Houston exceeded the two million TEU mark in September. Container volume at Port Houston’s container terminals remains vigorous as cargo movement continues to lead last year’s pace showing a 10 percent growth through the third quarter.
Caption: The Port Commission at the port's September public meeting.
The investments being made at Port Houston continue to pay off. As a result of the completion of the widening and deepening of its Bayport Channel and work on what’s known as the Bayport flare, Port Houston is seeing larger and larger vessels calling its container facilities.