Texas ports report record-breaking container, crude oil volumes

Container, crude oil and petroleum shipments rose as ports in Houston and Corpus Christi recorded strong freight volumes in June.

Ports in both Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas, achieved record-breaking results in June from shipments of oil drilling products and autos, and increases in crude oil and refined products exports.

Port Houston reaches TEU record in June

For the second consecutive month, Port Houston hit a record for monthly container volumes, handling 323,823 twenty-foot equivalent units, an 11% year-over-year increase over the same period last year.

In May, Port Houston handled 335,000 TEUs, a record for the month. Year to date, the port has handled 1.8 million TEUs, an 18% year-over-year increase compared to 2021.

“Port Houston is seeing record volumes at our container terminals, but also some delays due to the enormous demand,” Roger Guenther, executive director at Port Houston, said in a statement. “We don’t expect this surge in containers to slow down anytime soon, and we are actively pursuing multiple initiatives to maintain a fluid, high-velocity environment during this time of incredible demand for containerized cargo.”

Total import tonnage was 2.6 million tons in June, a 15% year-over-year increase but a 6% month-to-month decline compared to May. Total export tonnage was 3 million tons, a 38% year-over-year increase and 40% increase compared to May.

Imports of steel increased 33% year over year in June to 377,191 tons but declined 42% month to month compared to May. Total revenue tonnage increased 26% to 5.7 million tons.

Steel imports and the demand for oil country tubular goods were boosted by oil drilling operations across Texas, port officials said. Auto import units showed an increase of 411% in June.

Loaded container TEU imports rose 13% year over year to 157,778 in June, while loaded container exports increased 22% to 102,889 TEUs.

Empty export container TEUs declined 5% year over year in June to 53,392. Empty import container TEUs fell 20% to 9,764.

Port Houston recorded 973 total ship and barge calls in June, a 6.7% decline from the same period last year.

Port of Corpus Christi sets quarterly and half-year tonnage records

The Port of Corpus Christi set new tonnage records driven primarily by increases in crude oil and refined products exports, as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports and dry bulk imported cargoes.

The port moved 46.4 million tons of cargo in the second quarter of 2022 and 90.1 million tons for the first six months of the year, eclipsing prior quarterly and half-year records set in 2021.

“These numbers are a testament to the role the Port of Corpus Christi and its industry partners play in the global marketplace, providing certainty in uncertain times,” Charles W. Zahn Jr., the port’s commission chairman, said in a statement

Crude oil shipments totaled 52.4 million tons for the first half of the year, a 12% increase from the same period in 2021. For the month of June, total crude oil shipments were 9.6 million tons, of which 8.6 million tons were exported.

The port also handled 4.8 million tons of petroleum during June, a 26% year-over-year increase compared to the same year-ago period. Exports of petroleum for the month topped 3.8 million tons, a 2.7% increase from the same period last year.

Dry bulk cargo increased 21.5% year over year to 3.9 million tons, and LNG shipments increased by 11% to 8.1 million tons. 

The Port of Corpus Christi had 648 ship calls in June, including 447 liquid cargo barges and 201 liquid cargo ships. It was a 10% year-over-year increase in ship calls compared to June 2021.

Watch: FreightWaves discusses why do enterprise carriers rely on independent operators?

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Noi Mahoney.

More articles by Noi Mahoney

Covenant beats Q2 earnings estimates despite ‘softening’ freight market

Chameleon carriers pose threat to nation’s roadways

Borderlands: Texas port begins $68M channel improvement project