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Port Houston Posts Another Container Gain in November

December 19, 2022

If U.S. imports are slowing, Port Houston has yet to get the memo.

The U.S. Gulf Coast’s busiest port reported an 11% jump in container volumes in November, bucking a trend of year-over-year declines at other major U.S. ports.

Port Houston’s Barbours Cut and Bayport container terminals handled a total 348,950 TEUs in November, bringing its year-to-date total to more than 3.6 million TEUs through the first eleven months of 2022. That’s up 17% compared to last year.

As we have reported, Port Houston has been a big winner from this year’s eastward imports shift. November 2022 now ranks as Port Houston’s fourth busiest month behind September’s 353,525 TEUs, October’s 371,994 TEUs, and August’s 382,842 TEUs.

With total U.S. imports for November 2022 coming in at almost 20% below last year, another month of year-on-year growth is another big win for Port Houston as imports are likely to continue to level off over the next few months—even in the U.S. Gulf.

“The long term for container growth in Houston is extremely favorable,” says Roger Guenther, Executive Director at Port Houston. “Retailers continue to invest in distribution centers in our region that are served through our Port. The export of petrochemical commodities continues to rebound as well. The impacts of the historic global supply chain demand are beginning to disappear. Our vessel queue is now reduced to single digits and will likely be caught up in the coming weeks. We remain committed to the efficiency of our facilities and the investments we are making to stay well in front of demand both on the waterside and the terminal side.”

Looking at Port Houston other facilities:

General cargo grew by 45% year-to-date compared to the same time last year
Auto imports were up 141% for November 2022 and 14% year-to-date compared to 2021
Steel imports took a dip in November; however, this year’s steel volume has been substantial, making 2022 the best year for steel tonnage in more than five years

By Mike Schuler