Port of Houston is Ramping Up for Growth; Perishables are a Key Part of the Plan

Port of Houston is Ramping Up for Growth; Perishables are a Key Part of the Plan

The Port of Houston is in the midst of numerous upgrades and expansions, while propelling itself into the future.

With strategic investments in new equipment, terminal infrastructure and channel improvements, the port continues to solidify its position as a vital hub for trade in the Gulf region. 

“American farmers and ranchers depend on a reliable and efficient transportation system to move their products to market,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release. 

According to the USDA, the Port of Houston has faced challenges in handling agricultural exports due to a shortage of chassis, leading to inefficiencies in moving reefers on and off vessels. 

“The USDA is pleased to announce the partnership with the Port of Houston and the expanded collaboration with NWSA to further ease port congestion. Through these investments, we continue to deliver on our promise to bolster the supply chain and support American-grown food and fiber,” Vilsack said in the release.  

With support from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, the port is leasing additional chassis to mitigate these challenges. 

“This is an opportunity for new or emerging candidates, or new or emerging commodities to enter the US marketplace. And that’s what makes the Port of Houston so great,” said Dante Galeazzi, CEO and president of the Texas International Produce Association.

Additional improvements at the Port of Houston aim to optimize infrastructure and channel capacity to better serve the region.  

This includes widening, deepening and maintaining the Houston Ship Channel, driving the development of landside infrastructure and inland distribution networks, and enhancing efficiency and resilience through innovative technology and other strategies. 

“Port of Houston only has room to grow,” Galeazzi said. 

The Pro Citrus Network, operating through the Port of Houston, plays a vital role in facilitating the efficient transportation and distribution of citrus products. 

Founded in 2004 in California as a grower-shipper, PCN was the first to import lemons into Port Houston in 2008. Since then, PCN has grown throughout Texas and the Midwest. 

After outgrowing several leased facilities in Houston, PCN launched sister company Foremost Fresh Direct to service PCN to provide citrus year-round, as well as service other fresh produce and perishable customers needing cold storage, bringing additional commodities including avocados, grapes, melons, pineapples, juice and additional perishable items.