While the Port of Houston is banking on large-scale projects that deepen channels, and add post-Panamex cranes to help it secure more container traffic post-Panama Canal expansion, the Gulf’s largest port hasn’t turned its back on breakbulk and project cargo. Here, though, the results are mixed.
Houston is North America’s largest breakbulk and project cargo port complex. In the first two months of 2017, general cargo has remained flat, according to Jeff Davis, chief port operations officer. And the port hasn’t seen any breakbulk traffic pickup as a result of the Panama Canal expansion, he said.
The Port last November forecast containerized freight would increase almost 9% this year and another 8% in 2018, after a 17% increase in 2016. Meanwhile, a collapse in the demand for steel pipe used in oil and gas drilling caused steel-related cargo to plummet by more than half in 2016, after a steep drop in 2015. This year, it’s predicted to be essentially flat.
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