Speaking at a recent port commission meeting, the chairman of the Port of Houston Authority, Ric Campo said: 'Cargo means jobs. People need their stuff. Somebody's revenue is somebody else's expense. All those expenses go to jobs,' he said, adding that 'without revenue, you have no jobs.'
Top imports at the largest port on the Gulf Coast in May included steel, auto supplies, bagged goods, lumber, machinery, plywood and bagged foods, reports New York's FreightWaves.
Roger Guenther, executive director of Port Houston, said port volume is up 8 per cent year to date compared to the previous year.
'May of last year was down, but overall it's been a great year to date. Container terminals are up 8 per cent over last year already with a total of over 1.3 million TEU so far,' Mr Guenther said during the commission meeting.
He said June started strong for the port. The Barbours Cut Container Terminal had a record gate move day last week with nearly 5,000 transactions.
'That's being driven by a new service that started a little over a week ago,' Mr Guenther said, referring to THE Alliance's EC6 direct trans-Pacific Asian service. The ONE Modern, the vessel deployed on the EC6 service calling Port Houston, can carry about 7,000 TEU.
'The ONE Modern had more than 5,500 vessel lifts on that first call of that new service,' he said. 'The demand is still here, the demand is growing, ships are getting bigger.'
The Bayport Container Terminal also had a record day in early June, recording 8,600 transactions.
'We are seeing 11,000 gate transactions between the two container terminals every day, which is well above the average that we've been seeing for the past year.
'The good thing is we're able to efficiently handle those with a great labour force, a great operational force - truckers, stevedores and everybody - to maintain efficient service levels while this is happening,' he said.
In other port business, officials awarded a US$36.5 million contract to Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co Ltd (ZPMC) for three dockside electric container cranes for Wharf No 6 at Bayport Container Terminal. The electric container cranes are one of the last pieces of a $200 million expansion plan for Wharf No 6.