Barbours Cut Container Terminal in the Port of Houston. (Photo courtesy of Port of Houston)
Ports & Terminals

Port Houston Cargo Slightly Behind 2022’s Record Pace

Port Houston handled 315,983 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) in June 2023, making the total for the year thus far more than 1.8 million TEUs, a decrease of just 2 percent compared to last year’s record-breaking year, the port announced July 19.

Loaded exports continue to lead the way, with 673,228 TEUs through the first half of the year, an increase of 12 percent compared to last year. Loaded imports are down 7 percent year-to-date compared to last year.

“It’s not surprising that import volumes are slightly under last year’s unprecedented pace,” said Roger Guenther, executive director at Port Houston. “But container activity through Houston remains strong overall. To put it into perspective, import TEUs at Port Houston are up 30 percent compared to 2019, before the pandemic.”

At Port Houston’s breakbulk facilities, general cargo declined 22 percent year-to-date compared to 2022. However, there continues to be demand for rail, oil country goods, line pipe and other products, resulting in steel imports up 11 percent this month compared to June 2022, the port said.

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Auto import units at Port Houston, while down 10 percent in June, are up 30 percent year-to-date compared to 2022.

Enhancements at Port Houston facilities include recently added Union Pacific Railroad services to Denver, Salt Lake City, Oakland, Los Angeles and El Paso and also BNSF Railway services to Greater Dallas/Fort Worth and Denver markets. In addition, work is nearing completion on the port’s newest container dock at Bayport Container Terminal, which is expected to be open later this year.

“As we move into the traditional peak season toward the end of the year, we are ready for the world’s cargo,” Guenther said. “Our customers can continue to count on us for efficiency, reliability and the top-notch customer service they expect from us.”