The Port of Houston Authority (PHA) celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the Fentress Bracewell Barbours Cut Container Terminal with a special reception at the industrial site on Wednesday, May 2. PHA Commission Chairman Jim Edmonds was joined by Commissioners Kase Lawal, Steve Phelps, Jim Fonteno, Jr., Jimmy Burke, Janiece Longoria, and Elyse Lanier, as well as more than 500 invited guests, including: US Representative Nick Lampson, Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Mayor Peggy Arisco of Morgan’s Point, Chad Sweet of the US Department of Homeland Security, Clyde Fitzgerald of the International Longshoremen’s Association, Wolfgang Freese of Hapag-Lloyd and Glen Eddy of APM Terminals along with several PHA executives. Guests from the regional business community and delegates of the 25th International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) World Ports Conference currently meeting in Houston were also in attendance.
“For almost a third of the Port’s history, Barbour’s Cut Terminal has added enormous value to the economies of the Houston region, the state of Texas and beyond,” Chairman Edmonds said. “When Barbours Cut opened, Houston was the fifth-largest city in the nation and the third-largest seaport. Today, Houston has grown to become the nation’s fourth-largest city and second-largest port, handling more foreign tonnage than any other US port.”
With six container berths and 13 wharf cranes, the Port of Houston handled more than 1.6 million teus (twenty-foot equivalent units, the standard of measure in the maritime shipping industry) last year alone.
Barbour’s Cut Container and Cruise Terminal, along with the newer Bayport Container and Cruise Terminal, is the reason the PHA handles 72% of all containerized cargo in the US Gulf and 95% of the containers moving through Texas. As the Port’s business has grown, so has the Houston region. In 2006, the Port of Houston contributed more than 785,000 jobs in Texas and approximately $117.6 billion to the Texas economy through wages and tax revenues.
1977—MESSAGES IN A BOTTLE
“In 1977, the Port of Houston Authority opened Barbours Cut Container
Terminal during the 10th IAPH Conference in Houston, burying a time capsule to commemorate the event,” said H. Thomas Kornegay, P. E., Executive Director of the Port of Houston Authority and President of IAPH, the global maritime industry’s leading organization. “Now, with IAPH back in town, we wanted to share the celebration of the Barbours Cut 30th anniversary and open the time capsule as well.”
One significant item found inside was the business card of the Barbours Cut Container Terminal Chief Planning Engineer—H. Thomas Kornegay, P. E. In addition, there were letters from ports all around the world, reflecting the camaraderie shared by IAPH members to this day. Other items in the time capsule include: copies of two Houston daily newspapers, the Houston Chronicle and the Houston Post (no longer publishing); program guides from the Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans), the Houston Astros and the Houston Rockets; and letters from area colleges and universities.
After the reception and program, guests participated in a technical tour of both the Barbours Cut Container and Cruise Terminal and the Bayport Container and Cruise Terminal facilities. Equipment on hand included: the US Customs and Border Protection’s Mobile VACIS(r) Inspection Unit and a canine unit; Houston Pilots’ pilot boat Bayou City; and PHA’s Mobile Command Center, fire truck and fireboats Fentress Bracewell and Captain Farnsworth.
In addition, guests were invited to view displays from the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Beneficial Uses Group (BUG), regarding the largest wetland creation effort of its kind in the nation. The silt, sand, shell and clay dredged from the deepening and widening of the Houston-Galveston Navigation Channels are being creatively used as an environmental resource to enhance Galveston Bay.
During the 50 years of the project, th