"Container volumes are on pace for a record year, and steel imports are set to surpass the previous tonnage highs set in 2008," Guenther said, adding that cargo operations for November reflect a 15 percent increase in container TEUs and an 82 percent growth in steel imports, year over year.
Cargo and real estate business activities have contributed to a 12 percent growth in revenues for the year, as total cash flow of $109 million reflects a 10 percent improvement over 2013.
The port commission awarded a $23.8 million contract to Trans-Global Solutions, Inc., to construct Container Yard 6 North at the Bayport Container Terminal. The terminal, which opened in 2007, is being built out in phases.
Port commissioners also approved an order confirming the lease to Frontier Logistics L.P. of about 27.83 acres of non-contiguous unimproved rail-served real property near Barbours Cut Container Terminal. The lease will support an expected growth in resin exports.
Guenther also reported that all four of the ship-to-shore cranes the port commission authorized for construction have been erected and will be shipped to Barbours Cut in mid-February 2015, with arrival in April. Dredging of the federal portion of the Barbours Cut Channel is substantially complete, he observed. Dredging of the Bayport Channel began in November.
Guenther announced that cruise operations are fully under way, with Princess Cruises returning in November for a second season. Combined, Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line, which began sailing in October, are efficiently moving about 12,000 passengers through the terminal facility each weekend.
Among appearances at Tuesday's meeting, County Judge John P. Thompson of Polk County highlighted the importance of the Alliance for I-69 Texas, which promotes development on Interstate 69 within the state of Texas. The port commission approved renewal in a professional membership to the alliance for one year.
In addition, the port commission approved a memorandum of friendship and trade cooperation between Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and the Port of Houston Authority.
During a Special Meeting of the port commission, immediately following the board of pilot commissioners meeting, Mark Vincent, Channel Development Director, gave a presentation regarding a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' request for proposals for channel projects, studies and legislation, and the Corps' pending datum change affecting Texas ports. Vincent also talked about the proposed Corps feasibility study for Houston-area channels and other issues involving Texas Ports Association members.
Neil McLellan of HDR, Inc. gave a presentation on its survey of 31 channel users regarding interest in cooperative dredging activities. The port commission will continue to review options for dredging.