Container activity at Port Houston climbed 29 percent in February compared to the same period last year, while blank sailings in the month of March caused by a combination of the Lunar New Year and effects of the Covid-19 pandemic expect to impact volume in March and the months ahead at the nation’s sixth largest container port.
“In this critical time of need, we remain committed to our nation’s people and supporting its supply chain and economy,” Port Houston executive director Roger Guenther said.
In February, 255,474 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) were handled, compared to 198,494 for the same period last year. For the year through February, containers are up 27 percent, with a total of 524,247 TEU recorded during the first two months, compared with 413,446 TEUs for the same period in 2019.
The container growth follows a record-setting year in 2019, when Port Houston saw an increase of 11 percent for the entire year. It was the eighteenth consecutive year of container growth at Port Houston.
“2019 was a banner year at Port Houston, and while the first two months of this year were strong, the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have yet to be realized in March and the weeks ahead,” Guenther said.
“Our container terminals are essential to the supply chain and the local and national economy,” Guenther said. “Nearly 2 million tonnes of food products, medical supplies, equipment and personal care products are imported each year through Port Houston, in addition to other household and consumer-related goods. Our priority is to serve the 100 million residents, exporters and manufacturers in America’s heartland. We must ensure we not only remain open for business in these challenging times but to also be ready to support the economy and have the necessary infrastructure after we’ve won the war on this terrible outbreak as the nation gets into recovery mode.”