Port Houston’s container activity in September surpassed the record level of TEUs for the same month last year, despite the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has slowed global commerce this year. This is the first turn toward growth since the effects of the pandemic in March.
Port Houston handled 254,405TEUsin September, 1% more than September of 2019 when a total of 251,524 TEUs were handled. For all of 2020, container activity already eclipsed the 2 million TEU mark, hitting2,165,581 TEUs. That was just3% less than the 2,232,036 TEUs for the same period last year.
“September volumes were positive,” Executive Director Roger Guenther said. “Although resin exports were soft due to supply chain disruptions caused by hurricane activity in the East Texas/Louisiana border area, overall container numbers are gaining strength, especially on the import side. We are optimistic that are bound in container volumes is underway and that it will continue for the remainder of the year and into 2021.”
The strong showing last month was achieved despite closure of the Houston Ship Channel for about three days due to Tropical Storm Beta, though Port Houston’s terminal operations remained open to continue serving customers.“
We’ve had a solid import peak season with retailers bringing in product from overseas in strong numbers,” Guenther noted. “Our fundamentals are strong with a solid base of exports and a surge in construction activity of import warehouses and distribution centers. We in turn are investing heavily in infrastructure and people to ensure we have the necessary capacity and labor to support our growing customer base.”
Total tonnage at Port Houston in the month of September showed a turnaround, rising by 1%, with imports and exports of autos increasing, along with grain and bulk again showing increases. Steel and breakbulk cargo was down in September.
Port Houston is the 6thlargest container port in the United States and is the dominant container port on the U.S Gulf Coast.
Source: Port Houston