The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority met on Tuesday, February 21. Chairman Ric Campo opened the meeting with the news that dredging of Segment 1A of Project 11, the Houston Ship Channel expansion and deepening program, was completed on February 1.
Port Houston anticipates the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will issue its Assumption of Maintenance memo in early March. Upon its acceptance, the U.S. Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are expected to implement its measures, including updating charts of the widened channel.
“We are targeting mid-March for that transition,” Chairman Campo said of the opening of the widened segment, “and the Houston Pilots are then prepared to lift the current daylight restrictions within Phase 1A.” This will provide the opportunity for longer and wider ships to transit during an expanded time window, delivering more cargo and commerce to the region and the state of Texas.
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Executive Director Roger Guenther reported to the Port Commission that cargo activities remain solid. “Steel imports are strong, and though we saw a slight dip in January in container imports, we continue to see increasing resin demand driving exports of loaded containers,” Guenther remarked. Port Houston saw those numbers increase 31% in January, versus the same month last year.
“While there are reports of significantly reduced volumes to the U.S. in loaded imports, we are not seeing this so far in Houston,” Guenther added.
The Executive Director also announced that Saturday gate operations at its two container terminals, implemented at the peak of the supply chain crisis, are expected to end on April 29.
In its commitment to optimizing infrastructure and channel capacity, Port Commission approvals at the meeting included the award of a professional services contract for the design of Container Yard 8 at Bayport Container Terminal. In addition, executive leadership reported that approximately $32 million in projects were recently completed, further illustrating Port Houston’s commitment to growing and sustaining the workforce and regional prosperity.
Meanwhile, staff leadership reported that approximately $32 million in projects had recently been completed, including Port Road, the Bayport U-turn, and phase one of the Barbours Cut Terminal pop-up yard.
The Port Commission will meet on Monday, March 20, for its next monthly meeting.
Source: Port Houston