The Port of Galveston announced on Thursday strong results for the month of June 2018. Total vessel calls for the month increased approximately 18 percent year-over-year compared to June 2017 and improved 28 percent year-to-date over last year. Total cargo volume was up 47 percent over June 2017 and up 46 percent year-to-date when compared to the second quarter of 2017. This represents the sixth consecutive month of double-digit growth at the Port.
“It’s mid-year and the Port continues to see record cargo volume growth and a significant increase in vessel calls,” said Port Director and CEO Rodger Rees. “If these numbers continue to rise, 2018 could be a record year for the Port”.
The Port handled 67 vessel calls in June, compared with 57 in June 2017, and 430 vessels year-to-date for the second quarter of 2018 compared with 337 vessels over the same time period last year. The primary contributing factor to such a large increase in vessel calls was the arrival of more lay vessels and barges. The Port saw a 550 percent increase in lay vessels on a monthly comparison and a 242 percent increase year-to-date. Lay barges decreased 56 percent compared to June 2017. However, there was a 38 percent year-to-date increase over the same period last year. Additionally, cargo ship calls are up 22 percent on the monthly comparison and increased approximately 14 percent for the year. Cruise ship vessel traffic increased by 5 percent over June 2017 and more than 18 percent year-to-date over last year.
Bulk grain exports led the increase in cargo volume for June 2018 with a 160 percent increase over June 2017, an increase of 120 percent year-to-date. The increase in grain exports was the direct result of the coordinated efforts by Port staff, US Army Corps of Engineers and ADM management to dredge the channel and ADM Grain Galveston facility berth to accommodate larger grain vessels. Other cargo segments added substantially to the overall picture. Roll-on Roll-off (Ro-Ro) cargo was up 25 percent due to additional vessel calls for the month, adding more than 6,900 short tons when compared to the same month in 2017, lifting year-to-date Ro-Ro tonnage almost 47 percent over the same period last year. Bulk liquid imports were up 30 percent for the month and approximately 40 percent year-to-date.
About the Port of Galveston
The Port of Galveston is the region’s gateway to the Gulf for cruise ships and international trade. Located at the entrance to Galveston Bay, the Port leases and maintains facilities on both Galveston Island and Pelican Island. The Galveston Island operations are a diversified mix of cargo including Roll-on Roll-off cargo, dry bulk, export grain, refrigerated fruit, general cargo, and project cargo. In addition, the Port handles over 1.8 million cruise passenger movements annually. The Port’s Pelican Island facilities comprise a combination of undeveloped property, an active ship and rig repair facility, and liquid bulk operations. The Port is a self-supporting enterprise utility with operating revenues of approximately $38 million. It does not rely on tax dollars for operations.