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 is not without growing pains. That is why Port Houston is investing a total of $1.1 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 despite the extraordinary volume,” said Roger Guenther, Executive Director at Port Houston.
In early 2022, Port Houston extended container terminal gate hours to include a 6:00 am start time. to enhance traffic flow and service at the container terminals. We are continuing to collaborate with partners, like those in the trucking industry, to identify additional solutions to keep cargo flowing efficiently.
Additionally, in 2023 we will receive three new STS cranes and 13 RTG cranes to help with operations efficiencies at the container terminals. Port Houston’s fleet currently has a total of 116 RTG cranes, with 50 units at Barbours Cut Container Terminal and 66 units at Bayport Container Terminal.
The Port Commission has also approved the purchase of three additional neo-Panamax ship to shore (STS) cranes and 26 rubber-tired gantry (RTG) cranes to strengthen our vessel operations and enhance logistics. Those are expected to arrive in early 2024. The new wharf cranes, similar in speed and capacity those commissioned in June 2022, will be able to service larger vessels.
Other improvements include rehabilitating and building multiple wharves, adding new container yard space, expanding Port Road to allow for better flow of truck traffic, and expanding the truck exit gates at both container terminals.
Ryan Mariacher, Port Houston’s Director of Container Terminals, said, “We are focused on short term optimization strategies to improve user experience at Port Houston container terminals, while we are accelerating our capital investments to add capacity to provide relief to the volume surges we continue to experience.”
Additionally, at Barbours Cut Container Terminal, Port Houston has invested $43 million to enhance the overall terminal traffic flow. Earlier 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. We transferred three additional STS cranes to that terminal to help with offloading container vessels and have established an Express Pass system allowing frequent truckers to get through entry gates quickly.
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 too.
Click the button below to learn more about the investments Port Houston is making to advance cargo movement.