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Galveston, TX (March 24, 2020) – The Port of Galveston remains open for business, providing maritime-related jobs and economic benefits for the region following the Stay at Home executive order issued by Galveston County Judge Mark Henry on March 24.
Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves CEO and port director said, “Galveston maritime business activities and the workers who support those activities are considered essential to our regional and national economies. These activities include cargo movements, lay ship services, cruise ship maintenance, and waterfront construction projects.”
The order, in effect through April 3, prohibits non-essential activities throughout Galveston County in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
All current port business activities will continue as normal at this time while taking precautions to protect workers and encouraging port business partners to do the same. The port staff continuously monitors the coronavirus situation with its multi-agency infectious disease response team.
In a letter to port business partners on March 19, Rees said, “Let us all be diligent in our jobs, and by doing so we can stay healthy, continue to work and support our families.”
Currently, all terminals are open and operating. On March 24, cargo ships calling on the port carried grain, wind tower components, bananas and vehicles. Seven lay ships also called on the port for short-term services, such as supplies and inspections.
Port cargo and lay-dockage activities are projected to set new port records for first quarter 2020 with no signs of slowing so far, Rees said. To date, 750 wind tower pieces have moved through the port. The port also forecasts a record-breaking quarter for lay-dockage revenue, with 93 ship calls generating almost $1.3 million.
Four of the five cruise ships that homeport in Galveston are docked at the two cruise terminals and sailing periodically with only crew members onboard while customary daily maintenance is being performed.
All cruise lines voluntarily suspended U.S. sailings for 30 days on March 13, in response to the coronavirus.
Galveston Wharves at Port of Galveston
Perfectly situated at the entrance to Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel, Galveston Wharves has been a thriving maritime commercial center since 1825. Just 30 minutes from open seas, the 840-acre port has infrastructure and assets to serve growing cruise, cargo and commercial businesses. As the fourth busiest U.S. cruise port, it welcomed over 1 million cruise passengers in 2019. One of the top 20 cruise ports in the world and one of the busiest in Texas, the port moved 4 million tons of cargo in 2019 and has an estimated annual state economic impact of $2.1 billion.