The Port of Houston handled 3 million tons of total cargo in July, up 4 percent year-over-year, and moved 21 million tons year-to-date, a year-over-year increase of 3 percent.
The gains were driven by an 8 percent increase in container tonnage from January to July, a 21 percent increase in bulk exports in July and a 17 percent increase bulk commodities year-to-date.
The port’s net income in July totaled $4 million, exceeding July 2012’s profit by $1 million or 47 percent, while revenue was $25 million, up 11 percent year-over-year. Furthermore, operating revenue totaled $21 million in July, surpassing July 2012's performance by $1.4 million or 7 percent. Year-to-date operating revenue was $135 million, an increase of $6 million or 4 percent.
During a recent monthly meeting, the Port of Houston Authority’s commission authorized the port authority to seek private funding of up to $300 million through revolving note programs to address the port authority’s “most intensive capital investment program ever.” The port authority has identified more than $3 billion in capital needs over the next 15 years.
Furthermore, the commission approved an extra $100,000 of funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for economic study and analysis, which will focus on the feasibility of the federal government taking responsibility for the maintenance of its federal channels along the berths at Bayport and Barbours Cut container terminals. The port authority has committed to self-fund the estimated $150 million to dredge those channels to 45 feet, but the expectation is that the federal government will pay for ongoing maintenance.
The commission also approved memorandums of agreement with the corps for maintenance dredging and deepening of the non-federal channels at the port authority’s Care and Jacintoport terminals for up to $1.3 million; maintenance dredging at Turning Basin, Woodhouse and Sims Bayou terminals for up to $5.4 million; and Bayport Container Terminal for up to $1.1 million.