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  • Port Houston container volume down 20% in August 2023
  • 2023 September 26 13:11

    Port Houston container volume down 20% in August 2023

    Loaded export volumes at Port Houston are up 10% year-to-date, maintaining the upward trajectory seen throughout 2023 and helping support overall volumes through Barbours Cut and Bayport Container Terminals, according to the company's release. These exports are primarily resins and Port Houston is the nation's leading gateway for resin exports, with a 59% share. Loaded import volumes are down 7% year-to-date. Combined loaded volume is flat for the year. 

    Overall container volumes at Port Houston declined in August compared to last year, driven by a sharp drop in empty container volume. Year-to-date empty container volume is down 17% due to a relatively balanced market of import and export demand. In August, Port Houston handled 307,624 TEUs, a 20% decrease compared to the same month last year. Of note, August of 2022 was the biggest month ever at Port Houston for container volume, a record that stands today. Total 2023 container volumes have surpassed 2.5 million TEUs through August, reaching 2,510,162 TEUs and down just 4% compared to last year. 

    Recent additions at Port Houston include the arrival of three STS cranes to Bayport Container Terminal, which are large enough to handle 15,000 TEU vessels. Also at Bayport Container Terminal, the newest wharf, Wharf 6, is expected to welcome its first vessel this fall. Work also continues as scheduled on the Houston Ship Channel Expansion, known as Project 11, and by late 2024 more than 27 miles of the Galveston Bay area are expected to be complete. 

    Total tonnage across all Port Houston terminals is down 6% through August at 33,752,499 short tons. Steel is down 14% year-to-date, totaling 3,169,512 tons. Auto import units, however, have increased by 50% year-to-date compared to the same time period in 2022. 

    Port Houston has owned and operated the public wharves and terminals along the Houston Ship Channel, including the area’s largest breakbulk facility and two of the most efficient container terminals in the country. The Houston Ship Channel complex and its more than 200 private and eight public terminals is the US’s largest port for waterborne tonnage.




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