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Port of Houston container volumes down 11 percent in March

PortandTerminal.com, April 11, 2020

HOUSTON, TX – Container activity at Port Houston, the largest container port on the United States Gulf Coast, began slowing in late March as expected as the coronavirus outbreak continued to threaten countries across the globe, including the U.S. Port Houston handled a total of 248,280 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) in March, a drop of 11 percent compared to March of 2019, when 280,721TEUs were recorded.

READ: Port Houston suspends ops at 2 terminals after worker tests positive for COVID-19

For the full year, Port Houston handled 773,087 TEUs through March, compared to 694,167 TEUs for the same period last year. That is an increase of 11 percent for the first quarter.

The latest data from PIERS shows that while the U.S. container trade overall has contracted by more than 5 percent year-to-date, Port Houston has expanded by a similar amount.

Ports across the U.S. have been reporting major cargo volume declines in March. The Port of Los Angeles, America’s largest port and the one most reliant on China/US trade, reported cargo declines in March of 31 percent. Neighboring Port of Long Beach reported overall declines of 6.4 percent.

About Port Houston

For more than 100 years, Port Houston has owned and operated the public wharves and terminals of the greater Port of Houston –the nation’s largest port for the foreign waterborne tonnage and an essential economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas and the U.S. nation. The Port of Houston supports the creation of nearly 1.35 million jobs in Texas and 3.2 million jobs nationwide, and economic activity totaling $339 billion in Texas –20.6 percent of Texas’ total gross domestic product(GDP)–and total of $801.9 billion in economic impact across the nation.

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