Port Houston welcomed government officials from the Ministry of Infrastructure, Ports, Energy and Labour and the Saint Lucia Air and Seaports Authority (SLASA) for a briefing Feb. 17.
Stan Swigart, director of marketing and external communications for the port provided an overview of the Port of Houston. The officials visited to learn and discuss opportunities for growth and investment in St. Lucia, one of those being a potential transshipment port.
SLASA is responsible for running the island’s two principal seaports, Castries and Vieux Fort, and the George FL Charles and Hewanorra International Airports, as well as the smaller points of entry: Soufriere, Marigot and Rodney Bay Marina.
“We have an advantage here in Houston because of the local petrochemical industry and the production of plastic resins and specialty chemicals, which are top exports. Unlike most ports, we have a balance between exports and imports,” said Swigart. “We aim to build and invest based on the industry and supply chain demand curve.”
The executives discussed St. Lucia’s market trends, as well as port operational efficiency, security and labor relations. Swigart noted that the Port of Houston has a good relationship with labor.
A key part of Port Houston’s overall mission is to facilitate commerce along the Houston Ship Channel, while also generating jobs. As part of this effort, the port engages with federal, state and local officials on port-related policies from dredging, freight mobility, transportation and infrastructure to environmental regulation, port security and national trade.