2022 was an unprecedented year for the supply chain industry as well as Port Houston. Port Houston moved historic cargo volumes and a record high of 3.9 million TEUs in annual container volume. But this growth is not without growing pains. That is why Port Houston is investing a total of $1.5 billion in capital enhancements over the next five years , and in many cases expediting construction to better serve our customers.
“Port Houston continues to build capacity and adjust to the changing market by providing more yard space, more equipment, and more hours of service to our customers. Port Houston is meeting with customers, communicating updates and working with our partners in the ILA to maintain cargo fluidity,” said Roger Guenther, Executive Director at Port Houston.
Most recently, the Port received three new ship to shore (STS) cranes and finished construction of the new Wharf 6 at Bayport Container Terminal. This added wharf and new STS cranes will help service vessels up to 15,000 TEUs in size upon completion of the Bayport Channel Segment in 2024 of the Houston Ship Channel Expansion – Project 11. Additionally at Bayport, we’ve invested a more than $425 million in infrastructure improvements to help with traffic flow on Freight Station Road and empty and loaded container storage capacity.
Port Houston has also purchased three additional STS cranes and 26 rubber-tired gantry (RTG) cranes to strengthen our vessel and yard operations. Those are expected to arrive in early 2024.
Additionally, at Barbours Cut Container Terminal , Port Houston has invested $43 million to enhance the overall terminal traffic flow, and is investing more than $650 million over the next 5 years to help redevelop and rehab existing areas around the terminal. In 2022 we nearly doubled our in-gate capacity, adding 14 new gates to bring our total to 29 entry gates. We also enhanced technology and support areas to help expedite entry into the terminal. This year, we’ve redeveloped 14.5 acres at the west end of the terminal for additional container storage space and we’ve begun rehabilitating wharves as well as container yards to make terminal operations more efficient.
Ryan Mariacher, Port Houston’s Director of Container Terminals, said, “We continue to expedite wharf and container yard expansion projects to regain capacity for anticipated demand. With the dramatic improvement of cargo fluidity, we are focused on process optimization to improve terminal service levels through technology implementation and collaboration with customers and terminal users.”
The Houston Ship Channel Expansion – Project 11 has also been moving along rapidly. In 2023, Port Houston has completed Segment 1A Bolivar Roads to Redfish which has eliminated daylight restrictions for larger vessels within this segment and is positively helping cargo move smoothly. We’ve also cleared existing shoreline vegetation near Bayport, begun building San Leon and Dollar Reef Oyster mitigation sites, and begun dredging the Bayport Ship Channel. The completion of Project 11 in late 2026 will facilitate handling of larger vessels, which is a critical step to increasing the efficacy of the nation’s logistics infrastructure.
Port Houston knows how important reliability and efficiency is to customers. You can count on Port Houston to continue to meet our customers’ needs now and in the future.