Houston Container Volumes Up 21% in May

June 21, 2024

(Photo: Port Houston)
(Photo: Port Houston)

Port Houston reports it handled 364,866 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in May, marking an increase of 21%, or more than 64,000 TEUs, compared to the same month last year. From January through May a total of 1,758,960 TEUs moved through the port's two container terminals, reflecting a 14% increase compared to the same period in 2023.

According to the port, cargo volumes show no signs of slowing down despite any ongoing global supply chain disruptions. Robust construction of new warehouses and distribution centers the last two years and regional consumer spending on items like furniture, hardware, and retail goods have driven loaded import volumes to an increase of 18% this month compared to last year. Furthermore, strong manufacturing in Texas has pushed loaded exports, which increased by 21% this month, totaling 131,690 TEUs, and by 15% year-to-date through May, at 655,116 TEUs.

Also in May, Port Houston welcomed the MV/OOCL Bremerhaven on its maiden voyage. This vessel arrived at Bayport Container Terminal and is part of the ATG1/Victory Bridge service operated by the Ocean Alliance. The Victory Bridge connects Mexican imports from Veracruz and Altamira with an ultra-short transit time of four days from MXVER and two days from MXATM. After Houston, the service offers express direct service to Le Havre, Antwerp, Rotterdam, and Bremerhaven before returning to Mexico.  

“We give a Texas-sized welcome to the MV/OOCL Bremerhaven and look forward to providing this new vessel with exceptional customer service,” said Roger Guenther, Executive Director at Port Houston. “At Port Houston’s container terminals, vessels are worked 24 hours a day, and are turned quickly in partnership with our stevedores and ILA labor. We understand the importance of getting ships in, out, and on their way to their next destination as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

By the end of 2024, 15,000 TEU class neo-Panamax vessels will be able to berth at Bayport as the Port continues to make progress on its Houston Ship Channel Expansion, widely known as Project 11. “We are well-prepared to handle larger ships and increased volumes, and ensure we always have a buffer for surges,” said Guenther. “Our goal is to continue to improve how we do business to capture increased cargo into the Houston region.”

Steel imports at Port Houston’s multipurpose facilities increased in May, up 48% compared to last May, totaling 436,027 short tons. In fact, this was the best month for steel imports at Port Houston since June 2023. Total tonnage across all facilities has grown by 6% compared to last year and stands at 22,394,696 tons year-to-date.

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