Roger Guenther, Executive Director, Port of Houston Authority
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Roger Guenther, Executive Director, Port of Houston Authority

Challenge creates opportunity. And following a couple of years of a rapidly changing environment in the global supply chain, along with historic swings in demand, we certainly now have an abundance of opportunities to improve the efficiency of the way we streamline maritime trade. 
Now that we have had a chance to catch our breath and reflect on the past to prepare for the future, we must stay ready for the next unknown event. 

A single entity in the supply chain cannot provide the only solution. We have to collaborate across the entire network to get better. Information is plentiful but common visibility is lacking. 
Trade will always be cyclical, but global demand will continue to grow over the long term. Vessels are getting larger and infrastructure must keep up. 

Reliability is dependent upon the accelerated investment in port assets, sharing of data from beginning to end, expanding and using more hours of operation, and investing in current technology to allow people to do their jobs more efficiently. 
We have the tools and the talent. We just need to put them to work.

From a terminal operator perspective, we have to champion increased fluidity. We must discourage longer dwell for imports or exports, but at the same time provide more certainty for the BCO. Nothing in the supply chain is free. Port terminals are for timely transit of containers, not for storage. The developed land is scarce and not free. Available waterfront property for terminal expansion in our nation’s ports is finite and availability is diminishing. Solutions to fluidity include the movement of cargo more quickly to inland facilities where space is more plentiful, less costly and nearer to the origin or destination. Ports and terminals have to expand their reach and be a larger part of the solution.