Ports & Terminals

Port Houston Breaks Record For Loaded Export Containers In October

October was the biggest month ever for loaded exports at Port Houston, up 6 percent compared to October 2022, the port announced November 16.

Port Houston’s loaded exports are up 10 percent year-to-date, reaching 1,151,638 TEUs through October. These exports are primarily resins and chemicals. Port Houston is the top resins port in the nation as well as home to North America’s largest petrochemical cluster.

Loaded import volumes at Port Houston in October were down 4 percent compared to last October and are down 7 percent for the year as compared to last year. Compared to pre-pandemic volumes, however, total container imports are up 32 percent through October compared to the same period in 2019.

Container volumes for the first 10 months of this year total 3,201,958 TEUs—a slight decrease of 4 percent compared to last year’s record volumes.

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Wharf 6

Recently, the first vessel docked at the newly completed Wharf 6 at Port Houston’s Bayport Container Terminal. With the addition of this berth, equipped with three of the latest generation of Neo-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes, Port Houston is focused on adding capacity for enhanced terminal fluidity to benefit both import and export customers who rely on Port Houston’s two container terminals as their primary gateway.

“We are excited to announce the arrival of the first vessel at our newest wharf, which symbolizes a bright future for the port and the culmination of more than five years of planning,” said Roger Guenther, executive director at Port Houston. “This addition was a significant infrastructure investment and demonstrates our commitment to creating a dependable and efficient terminal environment for our customers.”

Bayport Wharf 7 is slated to be commissioned in 2025, the same year reconstruction of Barbours Cut Wharves 5 and 6 will be completed.

On the water side, expansion of the channel to Bayport is expected to be completed in 2024 with Barbours Cut to follow in 2026. These channel expansions will allow safe, unrestricted navigation of 14,000–15,000-TEU class Neo-Panamax ships.

Total tonnage through Port Houston is down 7 percent year-to-date compared to 2022, at 42,421,735 short tons. Steel volumes are down 13 percent this year through October. Auto import units increased in October, up 50 percent compared to October 2022.