USA: Port of Houston Moves in Right Direction
The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority reissued and amended Port of Houston Authority Tariff Nos. 8, 14, 15 and 17, covering the Turning Basin Terminals, Barbours Cut Terminal and Bayport Terminal.
The tariff rate increases, which are effective January 1, 2014, were deemed necessary to support the continued capital investment in Port Authority terminals to provide efficient operations for customers and stakeholders and meet growing demand.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria highlighted the visit to the Port of Houston Authority on Monday by Vice President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
“We were very impressed that they decided to tour the Port Authority’s Bayport Container Terminal on their way to the Panama Canal, which will mark a mutual centennial with the port next year,” Longoria said. “Vice President Biden understands the importance of federal investment in port infrastructure, which translates into jobs and economic development.”
PHA finances and cargo forecasts continue to look good, Executive Director Leonard Waterworth noted in his monthly report. October was a solid month for containers and steel, he said, with a decline in bulk cargo. Total tonnage for the month was 3 million tons, up 2 percent. Total tonnage for the year was 30 million tons, up 3 percent.
Container tonnage of 1.6 million tons was up 9 percent for the month. Year-to-date tonnage was 16 million tons, up 5 percent. Bulk cargo was up 14 percent year to date, at 9.3 million tons.
Operating revenue for October was at $20 million, up $2 million or 13 percent over prior year. Operating expenses were $14 million, up $700,000 or 5 percent. G&A expenses were at $4 million, down $300,000 or 7 percent for October. Year-to-date cash flow was $92 million, up $13 million or 17 percent year to date.
Prior to the meeting, Port Commissioner Roy Mease was ceremoniously sworn in by his predecessor, Steve Phelps. Mease was appointed to the Port Commission, representing the City of Pasadena. He serves on the Community Relations and Governance committees.
During the Port Commission meeting, Longoria recognized former Port Commissioners Kase Lawal, Jimmy Burke and Phelps, with resolutions for their service to the Port of Houston.
In addition to the visit from the Vice President, Longoria also highlighted other notable events for the Port Authority. Texas State Senator Sylvia Garcia and her staff visited the port on Friday. Earlier last week, Longoria gave remarks before the Houston City Council Transportation, Technology and Infrastructure Committee, at the invitation of Councilwoman Melissa Noriega, who chairs the committee. Longoria spoke about the Port Authority’s mission to create economic opportunity for the region. On Thursday, she presented the “State of the Port” address to the Greater Houston Partnership. The heart of her message was the power of an idea. Case in point, the Port of Houston was created because of a bold idea nearly a century ago, she said.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, representatives from the Baytown West Chambers County Economic Development Foundation, Galveston Bay Foundation, Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce, Greater Houston Port Bureau, Houston East End Chamber of Commerce and North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce presented reports on their organizations and acknowledged the Port Authority for its support.
Press Release, November 20, 2013