Speakers Discuss What is on the Horizon for Port Houston
The Bauer Supply Chain Forum at the C. T. Bauer College of Business hosted industry leaders, members from Port Houston and students during the Bauer Supply Chain Fall 2016 Symposium early last month.
The symposium serves as the department’s outreach to the Houston community by providing a discussion forum on important topics facing the industry. This year’s theme focused on “Port of Houston: Preparing for the New Panama Canal.”
Port Houston Trade Development Manager Ricardo Arias kicked off the symposium by discussing the impact the recent expansion to the Panama Canal has had on the port. The expansion has allowed larger vessels to move through the Panama Canal on their way to Houston, making traveling through the port a more appealing option for international businesses, Arias said.
“It wasn’t right that the majority of cargo coming in from the west coast was coming in from Laguna Beach or LA,” he said. “We still we have more containers coming in from the west coast to Texas than we do from Houston, but that’s growing.”
He added: “There are savings to coming directly through the Panama Canal to the Port of Houston. There are still some advantages to the west coast. We’ll never take all the business from them, but we’ll take as much as we can by the efficiency of our facilities.”
Port Houston Senior Trade Development Manager Will Whitehouse discussed other advantages of the port, including its location in one of the most dynamic cities in the country.
“The city did a great job after the 1980’s diversifying the businesses here,” he said. “Even though we are still very much heavily oil and gas reliant, we have finance, we have IT, we have medical. So our economy stays strong even if one of those sectors dips down.”
Bayport Container Terminal Director Ryan Mariacher said: “One of the biggest things that we can sell is stability, consistency and efficiency. When your shipment comes through Houston, it’s going to get to the final destination at the same time every time because of the extremely positive relationships we have. We don’t have work slow downs, we don’t have work stoppages and we run at high productivity all the time.”
The symposium is attended by select students enabling them to further their professional development by interacting with industry during networking breaks held throughout the day.
For more information on the Bauer Supply Chain Forum, click here.
By Priscilla Aceves