"Any business that can demonstrate profitability in these times of economic uncertainty is on the right path."
In his State of the Port address Port Authority Chairman Jim Edmonds said diversity of cargo and Houston's strategic location are helping to fuel an upturn in business. Edmonds cited a 10% increase in total tonnage for the first nine months of the year, along with a 12% increase in revenue and a 35% increase in net income.
"The worst thing for the people of Houston and the state of Texas is to operate as though we are in a recession. We aren't. Economic recession can be a fear-driven dynamic."
As for the future, Edmonds says the widening and deepening of the Panama Canal is only a couple of years away. That could bring ships to Houston that are twice as large as the ones the port currently serves. He says they've identified $3 billion in capital improvement needs. That includes work on six wharves at the 35-year-old Barbours Cut facility.
"It's expected to take about 18 months to modernize each wharf at Barbours Cut at a cost of $25 million per wharf, and about $65 million per wharf to equip it with wharf cranes and RTG cranes."
Figures show the Port of Houston ranks first in the nation in terms of foreign waterborne tonnage and second in terms of overall tonnage.