Partnerships Keep Us Successful

Posted By: CAPT Eric Carrero Port Bureau News, Captain's Corner, Newest Edition,

I can’t believe the first quarter of the year is gone and very soon we’ll be preparing for the 2024 Hurricane Season. As with every year, it is important that all the waterfront port facilities are up to date with their port assessment and very familiar with their heavy weather, plans, policies, and procedures.

We all know how critical the Houston Ship Channel is not only to Texas, but also to our nation.  Our port's readiness for hurricanes is of utmost importance, and it requires thorough preparation to ensure the safety of both personnel and infrastructure.  In the next few weeks, I look forward to participating in some drills and training sessions to ensure we are all familiar with emergency procedures and able to provide a swift, efficient response in the event of a hurricane. Most importantly, by prioritizing hurricane preparedness, our ports can minimize potential damages and protect the well-being of everyone.

There have been a lot of great events around the nation over the last few months. I was able to attend the National Harbor Safety Committee Conference in Chicago. It was wonderful to see many friends from all over the U.S. and enjoy the local representation we had in several discussion panels. In one of the panels, a Houston port community speaker discussed how important it is to have public and private partnerships and how our collaborations play a crucial role in fostering economic growth and development here in the Houston-Galveston region. We are all aware of how our federal partners are having budget and personnel constraints, so the public and private partnerships are critical in bridging the gap between government agencies and businesses. He explained that these interactions will lead to more effective and impactful solutions for the benefit of the port community.

With that in mind, I was able to exchange our best practices with some of our friends from the West Coast, and they are looking into our Houston Ship Channel Security District (“HSCSD”) as the benchmark for what they would like to have in place.  I conveyed many of the security-related undertakings of the HSCSD, and how we enhanced our port security capabilities by adding marked patrol boats, patrol cars, all-terrain vehicles, information sharing, alerts, notifications, and many infrastructure improvements thanks to the HSCSD efforts. I’ll continue to engage with the ports on the West Coast and will assist in providing the legal groundwork and the Texas legislation we implemented here, so they can hopefully establish something similar at their ports. I’m extremely proud to see how we continue to support other ports nationwide, and I look forward to the sharing of resources, expertise, and knowledge to address complex challenges. 

In addition, I participated in the Port of the Future Conference. I was amazed to see over 60 domestic and international ports represented. The conference was a great way to bring together industry leaders, experts, and innovators to discuss the future of port operations and explore new technologies and strategies that will assist in shaping our industry. With Houston being a major hub for international trade and commerce, this conference was an important channel to address the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for ports in the ever-evolving and changing global landscape.

I was happy to witness how all the attendees engaged in insightful discussions, informative presentations, and networking opportunities that will pave the way for a more efficient and sustainable future for ports worldwide. The Greater Houston Port Bureau will continue to work closely with them to boost regional growth and connectivity through strategic initiatives and investments.

As always, we’ll be the voice of the port community, and I look forward to leading from the front and driving innovation and efficiency within our region. Thanks to all and remember,


About the Author 

CAPT Eric Carrero, USCG (Ret.), joined the Greater Houston Port Bureau as president on July 1, 2023. He has 26 years of service in the U.S. Coast Guard, with experience in international affairs, port and vessel operations, and serving in the Sector Houston-Galveston from 2013-2021. CAPT Carrero holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Puerto Rico and a master’s degree in environmental management and policy from the American Public University System.