THE PORT

portof.houston

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FALL 2015

THE PORT

OF HOUSTON

BARBOURS CUT DEEPENING

ATTRACTS BIGGER SHIPS


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CONTENTS

FALL 2015

12

FEATURE

BARBOURS CUT DEEPENING

ATTRACTS BIGGER SHIPS

IN EVERY ISSUE

6 A Message from Executive

Director Roger Guenther

18

H-GAC Helps to Open

a Freight Bottleneck

8 The Manifest

Port of Houston Authority

News Highlights

26 Spotlight on Small Business

AAA Asphalt Paving

20

22

New Home =

Enhanced Protection

Breakbulk Americas 2015:

Gradual Acceleration


Port of Houston Authority

The Port Delivers

JANIECE LONGORIA

Chairman

EXECUTIVE OFFICE

Port of Houston Authority

111 East Loop North, P.O. Box 2562, Houston, TX 77252-2562

Phone: 713-670-2400 Fax: 713-670-2429

JOHN D. KENNEDY

Commissioner

DEAN E. CORGEY

Commissioner

Executive Director

Roger D. Guenther

Chief Operating Officer

Thomas J. Heidt

Chief Commercial Officer

Ricky W. Kunz

Chief Financial Officer

Tim Finley

Chief HSSE Officer

Marcus Woodring

Chief Information Officer

Charles Thompson

Chief Legal Officer

Erik A. Eriksson

Chief People Officer

Phyllis Saathoff

Chief Port Operations Officer

Jeff Davis

Harris County Auditor

Barbara J. Schott

Harris County Treasurer

Orlando Sanchez

CLYDE FITZGERALD

Commissioner

FIELD OFFICES

Central & South America

(excluding Brazil)

Arturo Gamez

Central & South America Representative

Port of Houston Authority

Avenida Aquilino De La Guardia y Calle 47

Ocean Business Plaza Building, Mezzanine

Panama, Republic of Panama

Tel.: +(507) 340-0205

Fax: +(281) 754-4647

Houston Access (713) 491-4607

Email: agamez@poha.com

Brazil

John C. Cuttino

Brazil Representative

Port of Houston Authority

Av. Paulista, 2300-Andar Pilotis

Sao Paulo, SP Brazil, CEP: 01310-300

Tel.: +55 (11) 2847-4931

Fax: +55 (11) 2847-4550

Houston Access (832) 239-5076

Email: jcuttino@poha.com

THELDON R. BRANCH, III

Commissioner

STEPHEN H. DONCARLOS

Commissioner

ROY D. MEASE

Commissioner

Asia

Garth Harrison

Port of Houston Authority

c/o Ben Line Agencies

Email: gharrison@poha.com

Tel: +84 838 256 148 x 147

Mobile: +84 903 943 886

Head Office

200 Cantonment Road, #13-05

Southpoint, 089763 Singapore

Tel.: +65 6420 9013

Fax: +65 6224 0163

Port of Houston Magazine’s editorial staff:

Stan Swigart, manager, marketing and external communications | Bill Hensel, manager, external

communications | Laura Blewitt, communications content specialist | Esther de Ipolyi, contributor | David

Bray, photographer | Chris Kuhlman, photographer | Gilbreath Communications, Inc. design and layout

This publication is not copyrighted and permission is given for the reproduction or use of

any original materials, provided credit is given to the Port of Houston Authority. Additional

information, address changes, extra copies, or advertising specifications may be obtained by

writing to the Port of Houston Magazine.

The Port of Houston Magazine is published by the Port of Houston Authority, P.O. Box 2562,

Houston, Texas 77252-2562, and is distributed free to maritime, industrial and transportation

interests in the United States and foreign countries.

Visit the Port of Houston Authority online www.portofhouston.com

4 Port of Houston Authority | Fall 2015


Fall 2015 | Port of Houston Authority 5


ROGER THAT!

A MESSAGE FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

ROGER GUENTHER

This year has been a solid year for cargo operations for the Port

of Houston Authority. The successes that we have accomplished

are due to the commitment of our employees and I appreciate

everyone’s engagement and enthusiasm as we look forward to 2016.

Over the past few months, we have aggressively moved forward

with the rollout and implementation of our Strategic Plan that

was approved by our Port Commission in April. We kicked off

the month of October by meeting with and engaging each and

every employee at the Port Authority to talk about our Strategic

Plan and our priorities for the coming year We must all have a

clear vision of the road ahead as we focus together on objectives

toward positive outcomes that we will measure in 2016.

Our plan is tied to our mission: to move the world and drive

regional prosperity. Our mission emphasizes our commitment

to delivering broad social and economic benefit to our region

through global maritime trade. The Port Authority has served

this region for more than 100 years, and this continues to be our

fundamental purpose today.

OUR PLAN ALSO INCLUDES A VISION FOR WHAT’S

AHEAD. WE ARE COMMITTED TO BECOMING AMERICA’S

DISTRIBUTION HUB FOR THE NEXT GENERATION. THIS

BOLD, AMBITIOUS STATEMENT CONSIDERS A FUTURE

WITH THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERISTICS:

• A leading national (as opposed to regional), multi-modal

hub for imports and exports

• A leader in efficiency, service and innovation

• Increased market share, increased capacity, and

improved freight mobility

• A focus on paving the way for the next generation by

leaving our organization better tomorrow than we found

it today

Carrying out this vision is possible thanks to our employees,

labor, customers, partners and neighbors. The Port of Houston

Authority has a strong foundation of dedicated people devoted

to building a future that looks even brighter. And we are READY!

6 Port of Houston Authority | Fall 2015


Moving forward, we have established four high level goals in our Strategic Plan that we

must achieve to attain our vision. Those goals include:

1 PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATION

People are the top priority, because they’re

the folks that make everything happen. We

are investing in our people and aligning

our organization to deliver success for our

community and the Port Authority. This month

we completed the roll out of our Strategic Plan

to all of our employees. Moving forward, we will

align with strategic goals to strengthen

communication, develop a workforce

development program, and

implement streamlined processes

supported by technology.

2 GROWTH

We will also continue to grow and

diversify the dynamic business

base at the Port Authority. In order to

reach this goal, our team will create and

implement a proactive market development

plan, deliver cost and service advantages

through innovation and efficiency, and develop

and cultivate a strong brand identity.

4

THERE ARE FOUR

HIGH LEVEL GOALS

TO IDENTIFY THE

OUTCOMES NECESSARY

TO ATTAIN OUR VISION

3 INFRASTRUCTURE

To facilitate this growth, it is vital that we provide

and facilitate the infrastructure necessary to

meet demand. We will develop a facilities Master

Plan and Asset Management Program while

creating funding strategies to deliver capital to

the program. The Port Authority will also continue

to build key partnerships to influence regional

infrastructure investment.

4 STEWARDSHIP

Finally, we come to stewardship.

As the Port of Houston Authority

continues to grow and drive regional

prosperity, we must also focus on

sustaining the business for the long-term. In order

to achieve this, we strive to be an environmental

leader, nurture productive relationships with all

stakeholders, and operate safely and securely.

We have some lofty goals to accomplish in 2016 and the years to come. Our people are critical to making this plan

successful and I’m confident that our team can deliver. We’re changing, the business is changing and the world around us

is changing. Through direction, alignment and commitment, we will bring our vision to be America’s distribution hub for

the next generation to fruition. I’m READY for bigger things to come. Are YOU?

Fall 2015 | Port of Houston Authority 7


THE

MANIFEST

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

PORT OF HOUSTON AUTHORITY SPONSORS INAUGURAL CONTAINER

TRADE CONFERENCE

Manuel E. Benítez, Deputy Administrator of the Panama Canal Authority

This year, the Port of Houston Authority stepped in to

partner with the Containerization & Intermodal Institute

(CII) to host the first-ever Container Trade Outlook

Conference. The Port Authority’s Executive Director,

Roger Guenther, is scheduled to welcome delegates to the

event Nov. 18, while Chief Commercial Officer Ricky

Kunz is slated to provide expert insight on cargo projects

and global gateway trade outlooks on the Container Trade

Outlook panel.

The conference will be hosted at the Houston

DoubleTree at Bush Intercontinental Airport. Panama

Canal Authority Deputy Administrator Manuel E. Benítez

will deliver the event’s keynote address ahead of the highly

anticipated Panama Canal expansion project, which is

expected to be completed in the first half of 2016.

U.S. West Coast port disruptions and instability

in global currency markets brought on a volatile year

in containerized shipping markets. Panelists from the

International Longshoremen’s Associations, United

States Maritime Alliances and the Pacific Maritime

Association will give key outlooks on upcoming union

negotiations on the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts.

8 Port of Houston Authority | Fall 2015


PORT OF HOUSTON AUTHORITY CONTROLS SPENDING WHILE GROWING

CONTAINER VOLUMES

Firm growth of container volumes at the Port of Houston

Authority extended through August as rates showed a year-todate

growth of 17 percent compared to last year.

Executive Director Roger Guenther reported at the

September Port Commission meeting, that August container

volumes grew 4 percent compared to the same period

last year. Through August, more than 21 million tons of

cargo moved across the Port Authority’s docks, firming

by 8 percent year-over-year.

“With controls on our spending, we have been able to

generate more than $94 million in free cash flow for the year

– reflecting our efforts to self-fund a portion of our capital

investment plan, which will add capacity and efficiencies to

our operations,” Guenther said.

The Port Authority’s revenues reached $200 million

through August. Guenther said that nearly $1 million in

savings will come throughout the next decade as responsibility for the cost of channel maintenance dredging at Jacintoport

Channel has moved over to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

More assumptions of maintenance approvals are on the way for Barbours Cut and later the Bayport channel.

With these changes in place, $50 million in dredging costs will be saved in the next decade.

BREAKBULK AMERICAS JERRY NAGEL EDUCATION DAY HELD

More than 130 students from the Houston area

gathered Oct. 6 at the fifth annual Breakbulk Jerry

Nagel Education Day to kick off the 2015 Breakbulk

Americas Conference. Students were represented

from Texas A&M Galveston, the University of

Houston – Main Campus, the University of Houston

– Downtown, Texas Southern University, Houston

Community College and San Jacinto College.

The Port of Houston Authority participated

in the open session career fair during the

second half of the day. Port Authority Trade

Development Manager Ty Reasonover was

there to answer questions and give career advice to interested students. The Port Authority offers multiple 10-to-12

week summer internship opportunities each year to undergraduate and graduate students across a wide range of career

fields. The Port Authority will begin accepting applications for the 2016 summer program in late January.

“Our goal here at Education Day is to ‘inform and entice’ you enough so that you become a part of this action-oriented

industry known as breakbulk,” Breakbulk Education Day Coordinator Elizabeth Wetzel said.

Fall 2015 | Port of Houston Authority 9


PHA CELEBRATES SECOND ANNUAL PARK TO PORT RIDE

The Port of Houston Authority partnered with the

Hermann Park Conservancy to host the second Annual

Park to Port Bike Ride Oct 3. Nearly 1,000 participants

enjoyed a 20-mile bike ride between the Bill Coats Bridge

in Hermann Park to the Port of Houston in sunny and

beautiful weather. Riders traveled east along Brays Bayou

to the Port’s Turning Basin, where the Port Authority

hosted a turn-around celebration with food, music and

other fun activities.

Port of Houston maintenance staffers were a huge help

setting up the site and Port Authority volunteers greeted

riders warmly and welcomed them to the port. Riders

and volunteers were treated to an appearance by the

Port Authority’s antique fire truck and a special fireboat

demonstration at Brady’s Landing.

“Many Houstonians don’t realize that we have one of the country’s busiest ports within a short bike ride distance

from the center of town,” Port Authority Manager of Community Relations Leslie Herbst said. “This event allowed the

Port Authority the opportunity to showcase our region’s largest economic engine, which is right here in Houston’s own

back yard.”

A post-ride celebration was held at Hermann Park and all proceeds of the ride benefited the Hermann Park Conservancy.

RESOLUTION PASSED TO HONOR COMMISSIONER FITZGERALD

The Port Commission of the Port of

Houston Authority passed a resolution to honor

Commissioner Clyde Fitzgerald for his service as

President of the International Longshoremen’s

Association South Atlantic and Gulf Coast

District. Chairman Janiece Longoria lauded

Commissioner Fitzgerald for more than 50 years of

service on the Houston waterfront. Commissioner

Fitzgerald began working as a longshoreman at

the Houston Ship Channel at age 16, and was

elected president of Local 28 of the International

Longshoremen’s Association 10 years later. After

20 years of service in that capacity, he was elected

selected Local 28 president of the International

Longshoremen’s Association’s South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District in 1990, and was elected president in 2002. After

13 years of leadership as president, he became president emeritus in 2015. He serves as vice president of the International

Longshoremen’s Association and holds membership on its executive council. He was appointed to the Port Commission in

June 2013 and reappointed in January 2015.

THE MANIFEST spotlights news briefs exclusively from Port of Houston Authority, its customers, trading partners, and community

stakeholders. Submit information in the form of a letter or press release via e-mail to bhensel@poha.com or via fax 713-670-2564.

The Port of Houston Magazine does not guarantee publication and reserves the right to edit submissions for content and style.


THE INVESTMENT CONTINUES

Bigger. Faster. Ready.

THE PORT OF HOUSTON

AUTHORITY

recently welcomed four super post-Panamax

cranes that are just one portion of the $700

million modernization project taking place at

our Barbours Cut Container Terminal. These

new ship-to-shore cranes will accommodate

today’s generation of large container vessels

that will be calling on our terminals following

the expansion of the Panama Canal.

Port of Houston Authority

America’s Distribution Hub

for the Next Generation www.portof houston.com | 713.670.2400


EEPE

BIGGER S

ATTRACTS

EEPE


BARBOURS CUT

NING

HIPS


OPERATING DRAFT

40 to 45 feet

CHANNEL ENHANCEMENTS

INCREASED

300

WIDTH TO

feet

5

CONTAINERIZED TRADE TEU FORECAST

Loaded and Empty TEUs

(in millions)

4

3

2

1

BARBOURS CUT

BAYPORT

TOTAL

2012 2015 2025 2035


Transportation Cost Savings – Containerships and Tankers

40 ft. compared to 45 ft.

Bayport

45' x 400' $ 20,060,000

AVERAGE

ANNUAL

EQUIVALENT

BENEFITS

Barbours Cut

45' x 300' $ 18,620,000

Transportation Cost Savings – Containerships Only

40 ft. compared to 45 ft.

Bayport

45' x 400' $ 18,230,000

Barbours Cut

45' x 300' $ 18,620,000


Spurred by ongoing growth and the widening of

the Panama Canal, the Port of Houston Authority has

completed a key milestone in accommodating post-

Panamax ships. Those vessels are expected to bring

stronger international trade opportunities from the Asia-

Pacific region and around the world while generating

exciting economic growth for the Gulf Coast region.

The Port Authority finished its initiative to deepen and

widen the channel adjacent to the Barbours Cut Container

Terminal Sept. 15, delivering the Port Authority’s first

deeper-draft container terminal. The enhancement brings

the channel’s previous operating draft from 40 to 45 feet

and its width to 300 feet. The change means the channel

matches the depth of the Houston Ship Channel, which

was deepened to accommodate 45-foot drafts from the Gulf

of Mexico to Boggy Bayou. That project was completed in

June 2005.

The Houston Pilots Association gave the Port

Authority approval to receive vessels with up to a

45- foot operating draft at the Barbours Cut facility in late

September. Days later, a vessel drafting at 41 feet with

TEU capacity of 5,700 called at the terminal.

“This call marks a milestone in the next generation

of container capacity for the Port Authority. The vital

need for a deep-draft channel was clearly shown as a ship

immediately took advantage of the new draft upon arrival,”

Port Authority Executive Director Roger Guenther said.

And soon that surge to loading abilities will be shared

by a neighboring facility.

The channel adjacent to the Port Authority’s

Bayport Container Terminal will be brought to a

45-foot operating draft in the first half of next year in

conjunction with the opening of an expanded Panama

Canal in 2016. The Bayport and Barbours Cut channels

expansions will also accommodate expected growth in

chemicals and petroleum products vessel traffic while

adding to containership operations efficiency at both

channels. The Panama Canal Authority is adding a third

set of locks to its waterway that will enable bigger and

more efficient vessels to easily transport cargo between

the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. In late September, the

Panama Canal Authority reported its expansion program

is 93.1 percent complete.

SPURRED BY ONGOING GROWTH

AND THE WIDENING OF THE PANAMA CANAL, THE PORT OF HOUSTON AUTHORITY

HAS COMPLETED A KEY MILESTONE IN ACCOMMODATING POST-PANAMAX SHIPS.


As the Panama Canal widens, the Port of Houston

will become a fierce competitor for larger vessels looking

to discharge or load along the Asia-Pacific to U.S. trade

route. But ongoing operational hiccups and labor strikes at

West Coast ports have already led to tremendous container

growth volumes for the Port of Houston Authority in

2015. Thanks to the Port Authority’s competitively priced

supply chain alternatives, container volumes at the Port

of Houston boomed by 17 percent year-on-year through

August. Once larger post-Panamax ships have the option

to move directly through the Panama Canal, volumes are

expected to rise even higher. The Port Authority moved

more than 21 million tons of cargo across its facilities in

the first eight months of 2015. The Port of Houston is

the biggest port in Texas and the Port Authority already

handles about two-thirds of all the containers that move

through the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

The Port Commission expects to spend about $80

million for dredging the channels in front of the container

terminals, and will solely fund the project with Port Authority

operating income. In addition to dredging the channels,

improvements at the Barbours Cut and Bayport channels

include terminal enhancements, berth modifications and

larger capacity of federal placement area that will be made

for future dredged material. The construction contract for

the work was awarded to Orion Construction L.P.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) the Port

Authority worked together to get the dredging projects

under way with a combination of electric and diesel-powered

dredges. The channels are being widened or realigned by up

to 100 feet to better accommodate a growing fleet of post-

Panamax ships. These vessels can carry more than twice as

much container cargo as Panamax ships, with capacity for

8,500 or greater TEUs.

From an environmental standpoint, about half of the

expected 6 million yards of total material collected from

the two channels will be for beneficial use to raise levees.

THE PORT AUTHORITY MOVED MORE THAN

21 MILLION TONS

OF CARGO ACROSS ITS FACILITIES IN

THE FIRST EIGHT MONTHS OF 2015.

Along with the Port Authority’s facilities, private

facilities nearby will benefit from the access to larger

ships. The investment in the channels is projected to

generate more than $2.9 million monthly, or $35

million annually in combined local, state and national

economic benefits, according to an analysis study

by the USACE.

“This investment demonstrates our commitment

to drive economic prosperity for the region and further

ensures that the Port Authority is America’s distribution

hub for the next generation,” Port Commission Chairman

Janiece Longoria said.

The dredging of the Barbours Cut and Bayport

channels is part of a larger, 10-year enhancement project

that will be finished by 2023. The Port Authority

plans to invest at least $1.7 billion in the improvements. n

Fall 2015 | Port of Houston Authority 17


H-GAC

Helps to

Open a Freight

Bottleneck

As the Port of Houston Authority’s transportation network and loading

activities continue to grow, the need for more robust freight access has captured

the attention of local stakeholders.

The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) acknowledged the Port Authority’s

fast development in its September Transportation Policy Council meeting by voting to

approve and fund an integral freight project that will ensure the Port Authority maintains

competitiveness and efficiency in its transportation network.

18 Port of Houston Authority | Fall 2015


Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria, who serves as

the Port Authority’s representative on the Houston-Galveston

Area Council (H-GAC) Transportation Policy Council,

announced at the September Port Commission meeting that

the Port Authority will be included in the 2015 Transportation

Improvement Program (TIP) Call for Projects.

The council voted in favor of funding the Port Authority’s

Broadway Second Main Rail Track project in 2016, which

will remove a key freight rail logjam serving the region. The

$21.3 million project is forecast to generate up to $63 million

in economic benefits. Through the Port Terminal Railroad

Association (PTRA), freight railroads will step in to fund the

local match portion at a 50/50 cost share of the project.

The project will replace the bridge and reconfigure the

railway segment of the track. The project’s greatest benefits

come from reduction in transport costs derived from a decrease

to railroad delays and improvements to local air quality. Not

only will diesel emissions from the locomotives be reduced, but

truck traffic will be reduced thanks to the increase in capacity

on a double-track segment.

Adding a second track to the bridge will bring strong

economic opportunities for the greater Houston region

alongside the Port Authority and railroads, allowing shippers

to move freight by train, which is a cleaner transportation

mode compared to trucks.

A second presentation given by H-GAC provided

recommendations to the organization’s Technical Advisory

Council for approval and inclusion in the current TIP and

funding for 2017 surrounding Precinct Two’s Federal Road

Alternate Evacuation Route Grade Separation.

Chairman Longoria remarked that both projects are

essential to maintaining the lowest cost option for supply

chains amidst Texas ports. She

also encouraged Port Commission

meeting attendees to vote in favor of

the November 2015 Harris County

bond election for transportation

network enhancements.

The TIP that will include

funding for the Broadway Second

Main Rail Track project received

nearly 200 applications for funding,

representing more than $4.5 billion

in projects. The fiscally constrained

financial plan of transportation

projects will receive federal funding

throughout the next four years. n


NEW HOME=

ENHANCED

The Port of Houston Authority’s fire department has

focused on improving responsiveness and safety ever since

voters approved a bond to fund firefighting equipment for

the port in 1924. Recently, three new emergency response

vessels that are the most sophisticated of their kind replaced

an aging fleet.

The Port reviewed locations for the new vessels to

enhance maximum response time. This led to the closing

of the fire station at Woodhouse Terminal in Galena Park,

and the construction of a new facility at the Turning Basin.

“We discovered that a majority of the land-based calls

for service were in the Turning Basin area,” explained Port

of Houston Authority Fire Chief William Buck. “The

response time from Woodhouse was slower with our trucks

being stopped by trains and vehicle traffic.

“Also, the majority of ships were docked in the

Turning Basin as well. The thought was that a move to the

Turning Basin would increase response time when and

where it was most needed. The speed of the new fireboats

also means we can cover more water faster to provide better

coverage than with the retired vessels.”

A new station was built for the four-man crew, their

equipment and the shift assistant chief. The equipment

includes a Hazmat unit, a fire engine, and the assistant

chief’s apparatus or truck with a command center in the

back. There is one assistant chief per shift covering all

three port fire stations.

The new station, which was built to be able to withstand

a Category 3 hurricane, sports a new floating dock for

Fireboat 1. The new dock allows the fireboat to rise and fall

with storm and tidal surge.

One room at the new station is for the cascade air filling

system. This special compressor recharges the breathing

systems on the fireboat. The medical supplies needed for all


STATION 1

PROTECTION

three fire stations are also stored there in clean and climatecontrolled

conditions.

The fire department’s longstanding tradition of mutual

aid does not change with the move from Galena Park.

“We handle mutual aid calls with Galena Park,

Houston and surrounding ship channel communities,”

said Buck. “We work frequently with the Houston Fire

Department on rescues out of ship holes which are

high angle, confined space rescues. It requires

specialized techniques.

“With our proximity, we usually have the man out

before Houston gets on the scene. We turn over the victim

to Houston’s patient care so that their ambulance can

transport to a hospital.”

Among the most highly trained firefighters in the state

of Texas, the port’s firefighting team constantly works to

maintain its excellence. n


eakbulk

GRADUAL


Americas

2015:

ACCELERATION

A tone of cautious optimism permeated throughout the 26th annual Breakbulk

Americas conference as a slowing global economy and steep reductions to oil and gas

activity could threaten momentum in heavy-lift, project and breakbulk cargo markets.

Representatives from the Procurement Executives Group (PEG) keynoted the conference

sessions hosted by the Port of Houston Authority at the George R. Brown Convention

Center in downtown Houston. The duo lent valuable insight with an overview of the

global economic environment and trends in market sectors most important to project

cargo and breakbulk industries.

Peter Jessup, Amec Foster Wheeler Group Vice President of Supply Chain Management,

and John Mika, CB&I Global Director of Procurement in the Oil & Gas Group, predicted

a gradual acceleration in the global economy.

World GDP is forecast to pick up from 2.6 percent in 2015 to 3.1 percent in 2016,

according to Jessup.


The world’s economic health is certainly looking brighter than developments in the oil and gas sector. Energy

industry customers and contractors are making significant cuts in personnel as they begin reorganizing and rationalizing

their company structures.

The U.S. rig count dropped 60 percent since late last year, according to Mika, while global upstream spending is

expected to decline by 20 percent in 2015 and by three to eight percent in 2016.

A slowdown in upstream oil and gas exploration and production is liable to deter some project cargo activity. But the

oil and gas oversupply and related low pricing environment has a silver lining for the Port of Houston Authority.

The one bright spot from the engineering, procurement and construction

(EPC) perspective lies in the build-out of the North American gas crackers and

petrochemical complex, which is the lifeblood of the Port Authority’s future

export prospects.

“Downstream petrochemical companies and other stakeholders plan to invest

$35 billion in upgrades and expansions along the Houston Ship Channel, and the

exportable volumes of plastic pellets will surge in years to come,” Port of Houston

Authority Chief Commercial Officer Ricky Kunz said.

And though the oil and gas slowdown brought the Port of Houston

Authority’s record-high steel volumes back to a

normalized level for 2015, business through its

facilities has been strong this year due to the diverse

mix of cargo handled at its terminals.

Port of Houston Authority Chairman Janiece

Longoria welcomed a packed exhibition hall to

provide the conference session’s opening remarks.

“We are diligently preparing for the rapid growth

that lies ahead along the Houston Ship Channel,”

Chairman Longoria said.

The Port Authority continues to make

investments in its infrastructure to capture increasing

opportunities at its breakbulk port, which is the

largest in the nation. Terminal road improvements

will provide increased mobility and efficiencies for

handling breakbulk cargo. And development of new

acreage next to Wharf 32 will add much-needed area

for laydown space and cargo movement.

Wharf 32 is designed to handle project and heavylift

cargoes specifically. A Barnhart crane capable of

handling heavy lifts of up to 700 metric tons resides

at the Port Authority’s facilities, Chairman Longoria

told the Breakbulk Americas crowd.

“In the last 12 months, we have successfully

moved more than 9,000 metric tons of project export

cargo across these docks,” Chairman Longoria said.

“Maintaining and improving efficiency at the public

terminals is critical to our customers’ success as well

as our own.”

Facilities located along the Houston Ship Channel

currently make up 38 percent of the total U.S.

petrochemical and petroleum production and refining


volumes. But as this corridor’s stake grows in years to come, the Port

of Houston is the ideal entry point for breakbulk cargo via Wharf 32.

The Port Authority is also the largest steel port complex in North

America with 47 highly efficient general cargo and heavy-lift docks.

Its extensive rail and highway network and multiple local logistics

service providers connect goods to all of the important nearby markets.

Strategically located on the central Gulf Coast, the Port Authority touts

a range of 144 million consumers within 1,000 miles.

The Port of Houston Authority hosted the 26th annual Breakbulk

Americas conference in Houston this year after being named the

primary host port in 2014. In its fourth year as host port, the Port

Authority sponsored the Evening Welcome Reception Oct. 6. The fourday

conference, produced by Breakbulk Events & Media, drew nearly

5,000 delegates from 70 countries and ran from Oct. 5 to Oct. 8.

“We are excited to be naming Houston our home

for the foreseeable future,” Breakbulk Events & Media

Americas Sales Director Christian Blair Thompson

said. “Being in the center of the oil and gas industry,

as well as the largest breakbulk terminal city just makes

the perfect fit. And our exhibition numbers continue to

increase since choosing to remain in Houston.”

The bustling exhibition hall featured the world’s

major carriers, freight forwarders and more than 40

ports that handle specialized heavy-lift, project and

breakbulk cargo and roll on/roll off (ro-ro) logistics.

Logistics specialists and companies from all facets of the

EPC sector also had a strong presence at the showcase.

Vigilant hopefulness was apparent throughout the

conference sessions and even the event planning, as the

global economic slowdown and reduction in oil prices

has generated uncertainty in the breakbulk industry.

“All of Houston’s business with the oil and gas sector

is really what fuels our city, and in this economy with

the current price per barrel, we were a bit apprehensive

and anticipated a few issues on-site as a result. However,

this is not the case. The vibe on the floor is absolutely

exciting. Breakbulk really does love calling Houston

home and it shows,” Thompson said. n

“In the last 12 months, we have successfully moved more than

9,000 metric tons of project export cargo across these docks.”

-Chairman Longoria


SPOTLIGHT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Mike Hoffman, president of

AAA Asphalt Paving, Inc., was

persuaded to plant roots in Houston

just after the 1980s oil bust began

to turn around. Hoffman sold a

restaurant he operated in Huntsville,

Ala., to join a small construction

outfit that, as his company’s

name suggests, specialized in

asphalt services.

After working on small parking

lot patching jobs for a couple of years, AAA Asphalt’s

customers started handing Mike and his team blueprints

for projects beyond asphalt paving.

“We got in during a time when Houston was coming

back and there weren’t a lot of companies around to service

those construction needs like underground storm sewers,

concrete paving — different things. Now we do road work

and big, heavy construction. It’s been quite a ride!”

Hoffman has since brought his company to 70–78

employees. One of AAA Asphalt’s bigger road construction

projects with the Port of Houston Authority was performing

Quite a Ride for AAA Asphalt Paving

Mike Hoffman, President, left

Rayferd Colburn, General Superintendent, right

Gate 1 road improvements.

“It was a total rebuild of

Gate 1 road from Cargo Bay

Road, the new dedicated truck

entrance, to Steel Processors. They

did a great job on that project,”

Port Authority Mentoring Program

Manager Pedro Gonzalez said.

Now Hoffman’s team is

working at the Turning Basin lower

level and recently finished work at

the executive building parking lot. AAA Asphalt is also

lending a hand in ongoing improvements at the Bayport

and Barbours Cut terminals.

While current low oil prices have caused some economic

slowdowns in the Houston area, Hoffman’s crew is not

feeling the impact, as its construction portfolio is diverse

and 90 percent driven by public projects.

“I think that with the widening of the Panama Canal

and the work that the Port’s doing to support that, the

Port is a huge part of the diversification that’s keeping

Houston going.”

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Please take a moment to visit us at portofhouston.com/feedback to change

your personal delivery settings, and we’ll keep delivering your Port of Houston

Authority news in your preferred method.

If we don’t hear back from you by January 31, 2016, we’ll assume you are not

interested in receiving the printed magazine and will halt deliveries.

We appreciate your time and feedback!


The Port of Houston

PO Box 2562

Houston, Texas 77252-2562

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We’ll Help You

Steer the Right Course

Positive signs of recovery are on the horizon but we know the course is difficult.

At Cooper/T.Smith, we’ve been dedicated to holding down your cost of doing business since our founding

in 1905. From our great-grandfathers’ day to the present, difficult economic times have taught us to

control costs, eliminate waste and increase efficiency. Our obsession with paying attention to detail and

keeping our pencils sharp saves you money. And that helps keep your course true.

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