Port Houston is on a record pace for 2021 container volumes, seeing 314,756 containers in November, which translates to a 20% increase compared to the same month last year.
Year-to-date through November, the port’s container volumes are up 16%, reaching more than 3.15 million TEU and already exceeding the complete 2020 annual volumes, marking an all-time record.
Last November was the ninth consecutive month of double-digit growth at Port Houston, which, after a slow start to the year at its multi-purpose facilities, saw steel jump 182% in October and 226% in November. Steel is up 48% year to date through November.
Other sectors also saw increases in recent months, including lumber, up 230% year to date, and bagged goods, up 39% year to date, while auto units are up 13% year to date through November.
“The surge in demand is still felt throughout the supply chain, especially as importers rush product to the shelves for the holidays and build inventories in advance of temporary factory closures during Chinese New Year,” commented Roger Guenther, Executive Director at Port Houston, who expects high levels of imports containers to continue well into 2022.
“Port Houston is accelerating expansion projects such as widening and deepening of the Houston Ship Channel to allow for neo-Panamax vessels, adding additional wharves and container yard space to handle our fast-growing business, and developing of our regional maritime workforce,” noted Guenther.
Port Houston is actively working with the local International Longshoremen Association (ILA) to ensure future labor availability through training and added support to prepare for future demand. The partnership has proved beneficial, according to the port, as more crane operators and maritime workers join the workforce to support port operations.