Business, Freight News, Sea

Galveston Wharves: What to Anticipate in 2021

[ January 14, 2021   //   ]

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s the importance of focusing on the things we can control and being adaptable. The Galveston Wharves board and staff did just that. As a result, its business has weathered the pandemic well.

Estimated total cargo was 4.2 million tons, 6 % over 2019. That’s another record for lay ship revenue, earning more than $5 million, roughly 10% over 2019. This contributed to a positive cash flow for 2020 despite the suspension of Galveston’s cruise business in March.

So what will 2021 look like?

While cruise operations remain suspended in the United States as a result of the pandemic, the Galveston Wharves is working with cruise industry leaders and local business and community partners for the safe, sustainable resumption of cruising in 2021.

Regarding cargo, port officials expect grain, fresh produce and wind energy components to remain strong in 2021. The port also hopes to see European vehicle imports, slowed down by the pandemic, to pick up.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is doing dredging work at the grain berth, which will allow larger grain ships to visit the port and export more U.S.-grown grain and beans overseas.

Another improvement – additional acreage for storing wind energy components – should be completed soon. The stevedore that contracts with the wind energy manufacturers is working with city staff to finalize permits to complete the construction work at 37th Street and Harborside Drive.

Looking back, in 2020 Galveston’s Engineering and Construction & Maintenance teams advanced more than a dozen maintenance and capital improvement projects throughout the port to fulfill the long-range vision laid out in the port’s 20-Year Strategic Master Plan and take care of long-deferred repairs.

Work will to move forward in 2021, while continuing to evaluate budgets and timing.