Galveston Wharves announced business gains for the second quarter to round out a strong first half driven by substantial general cargoes volume. General cargoes, primarily wind turbine project cargo, increased by 104 percent over the second quarter in 2018.
Quarter over quarter, the port also handled tonnage increases in bulk fertilizer, container, and roll-on/roll-off (ro/ro) cargoes. Bulk fertilizer was up 14 percent, container increased 17 percent and ro/ro cargo rose 25 percent.
“I’m glad to report another successful quarter,” said Port Director and CEO Rodger Rees. “The market for clean energy continues to be in high demand. As the industry has grown, so has the amount of wind project cargo throughput. In 2018, we moved 1,666 pieces. This year it could be over 2,000. This not only contributes to our bottom line, it directly benefits our community by generating jobs. Galveston is one of only four Texas ports that can accommodate wind energy equipment.”
Additionally, the Port handled 118 lay vessel visits for the second quarter of 2019, which is an 82 percent increase from last year, resulting in an overall increase of 81 percent year-to-date. These lay vessel port calls accounted for over $1.8 million in revenue this year. Lay vessels are those docking at the port for a short time for refueling, U.S. Coast Guard inspections, minor repairs, supplies or crew changes.
Cruise business is also on the upswing. The port saw a 19 percent increase in cruise ship visits quarter over quarter, resulting in increased passenger embarkations of 15 percent. Cruise parking increased by 2 percent.
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 currently handles more than 1.9 million passenger movements annually. The port’s Pelican Island facilities are comprised of a combination of an active ship and rig repair facility, a liquid bulk operation, facilities that support the offshore exploration and production business, and two parcels of undeveloped property. The port is a self-supporting enterprise utility of the City of Galveston with operating revenues of approximately $43.5 million. It does not rely on city property tax dollars for operations.