The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority approved and adopted a charter for its Audit Task Force. The action was taken during an Oct. 25 meeting held at the new Bayport Administration Building, a “green” facility designed to LEED gold standards.
After taking special note that the meeting was being held at the Bayport Container Terminal instead of Port Authority headquarters, Port Commission Chairman Jim Edmonds shared the good news that earlier this month the Port of Houston Authority was honored as Port Authority of the Year by Containerisation International, the premier news and information service for the container industry. The Containerisation International award honors the Port Authority for efforts to ensure quick, safe handling of cargo, as well as actions to improve the environment. The Port Authority’s two container terminals at Bayport and Barbours Cut handle about 70 percent of the containerized cargo in the U.S. Gulf, and about 96 percent of the waterborne containers movingthrough Texas ports.
Also during the meeting, representatives from Houston Community College, Houston Independent School District, Houston Minority Supplier Development Council, SCORE, Silver Fox Advisors, Texas Business Alliance, Texas Southern University, University of Houston Small Business Development Center Network and Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance shared information about their organizations and thanked the Port Authority for its continuing support of maritime job training and small business development.
In his monthly report, Chief Executive Officer Alec Dreyer said September continued the mixed pattern of cargo volume seen for the last several months.
“Steel continues to be very strong relative to last year, while our container activity has been relatively flat,” he said.
Even though year to date, container TEUs are up 3 percent overall, Dreyer noted that “we clearly have seen a softening of container activity (a leading economic indicator) over the past few months reflective of a “no-to-low” growth economy at present.”
Steel tonnage for September was 399,000 tons, up some 17 percent over last year’s strong September, and steel is up 62 percent year-to-date over last year. Dreyer said a mid-month look at steel for October indicates the Port Authority will have an outstanding month, with over 500,000 tons being handled.
“It now looks like we’ll end up the year well ahead of even our revised steel forecast of just two months ago,” he said. “2011 will more likelyfinish the year in the 4-million ton range.”
Roger Guenther, Vice President, Container Operations, gave an update on container terminal operations. Volume was up 3 percent, he said, and he anticipated a 5-percent increase in loaded volumes for 2012. He said the Port Authority was well-positioned to handle the increases, as development of the Bayport Container Terminal continues and retooling of the Barbours Cut terminal begins.
Guenther also noted the Port Authority’s continuing efforts to reduce the impact of its operations on the adjacent communities, including the use of a soft spreader landing system for cranes and a partnership with vessel companies to reduce sound levels during bunkering operations.
Source: Port of Houston Authority, October 27, 2011