Port Houston Records Fourth-Largest Month Ever for Containers in November

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In November, container volume at Port Houston grew by double digits, again. A total of 348,950 TEUs were handled during the month, up 11% compared to November 2021. It was the fourth highest month ever for containers at Port Houston’s Barbours Cut and Bayport container terminals.

Container volume is up 17% year-to-date through November, totaling 3,682,874 TEUs for the first eleven months of 2022. The week before Thanksgiving was the highest ever for truck transactions, with more than 70,000 combined total transactions, while Saturday gates continue to make slow progress towards increased utilization.

According to the Global Port Tracker and Journal of Commerce, retailers forecast a softening of containerized imports into the U.S. and for the drop to continue into the new year. Although volumes at Port Houston continue to be extremely solid through November, with the fourth largest month on record, import activity will likely begin to level off during the next few months in the U.S. Gulf as well.

“The long term for container growth in Houston is extremely favorable. Retailers continue to invest in distribution centers in our region that are served through our Port. The export of petrochemical commodities continues to rebound as well. The impacts of the historic global supply chain demand are beginning to disappear. Our vessel queue is now reduced to single digits and will likely be caught up in the coming weeks. We remain committed to the efficiency of our facilities and the investments we are making to stay well in front of demand both on the waterside and the terminal side,” said Roger Guenther, executive director at Port Houston.

General cargo at Port Houston’s facilities grew by 45% year-to-date compared to the same time last year. Auto imports were up 141% for November 2022 and 14% year-to-date compared to 2021. Steel imports took a dip in November; however, this year's steel volume has been substantial, making 2022 the best year for steel tonnage in more than five years.