Port Houston adds space at Bayport terminal

Port Houston adds space at Bayport terminal

Port Houston's Bayport terminal turned 10 this year and continues to grow.

Construction has begun at Port Houston’s Bayport terminal on a 25-acre yard that will add space for storage, maintenance, and repair of empty containers and chassis while freeing up another site at the terminal for cargo handling.

Terminal Link Texas (TLT), a joint venture of Ports America and CMA CGM, is building the new yard, which will expand TLT’s stacking capacity by as much as 80 percent, while providing more space for container freight station work and maintenance and repair of containers and chassis. The port’s container volume of full import and export containers increased by 16.3 percent during the first half of 2016, according to PIERS, a sister product of JOC.com.

After the new yard’s scheduled opening next July, the port authority will take over TLT’s current 14-acre site, which will be used to expand the terminal’s space for loaded containers.

“It’s a win-win,” said Jeff Davis, the port authority’s chief operations officer. “We’re extremely excited about adding the new capacity.”

TLT is one of two operators that perform container and chassis storage, maintenance, and repair at Bayport. Houston Terminals, a joint venture of Mediterranean Shipping Co. and Ceres Terminals, has a similar footprint at Bayport.

Bayport and Port Houston’s other container terminal, Barbours Cut, are in the midst of a multi-year, $1 billion-plus expansion and modernization program in anticipation of increased volume of regionally produced plastic resins and other cargoes. The port recently announced that Bayport’s weekday gate hours will be extended to 11 p.m. local time this fall to handle growing volume.

Through June, Houston’s volume totaled 1 million TEU in loaded containers, and more than 1.2 million TEU including empties. The port is on pace to exceed 2016’s full-year volume of 1.8 million TEU of full containers and total volume of more than 2.1 million TEU of full and empty boxes.

The increase was driven by a 26 percent jump in loaded import containers following the mid-2016 addition of two weekly all-water services from Asia.

Bayport marked its 10th anniversary this year and is still being expanded into a seven-berth terminal. Barbours Cut, which opened in the 1970s, is undergoing an end-to-end upgrading that includes rebuilding off docks and installation of post-Panamax cranes.

Davis said work is expected to be completed later this year on the latest 25-acre expansion of Bayport, and that construction has begun on a dock where three new post-Panamax cranes are set to be delivered in mid-2018.

A 25-acre yard at one of Barbours Cut’s berths is slated for completion later this year or in early 2018, and a 15-acre section behind the rebuilt yard is being modernized for stacking of loaded containers. Three cranes for a newly rebuilt dock at Barbours Cut are scheduled to arrive at the port in October and be commissioned by the end of the year, Davis said.

Contact Joseph Bonney at joseph.bonney@ihsmarkit.com and follow him on Twitter: @JosephBonney.