Exports from Houston and Galveston increased to $95billion last year from $75 billion in 2009, and that's higher than the $90 billion exported from the region in 2008. Oil led the exports, bolstered by stable, relatively high prices. Crude ended the year at $91.38 a barrel, up about $10 from the start of 2010.
Last year's imports of $117
billion, while up from $92 billion in 2009, were below the $151 billion recorded in 2008. Oil also led the gains on the import side.
Rise in drilling equipment
Higher oil prices helped drive more demand for drilling equipment and cargo that crossed the Port of Houston's docks last year.
Houston's Palletized Trucking has moved more oil field equipment, containers and other cargo lately, and now it's hiring truck drivers again.
It's also planning to increase rates 5 percent to 7 percent this year as prices have increased for fuel, trucks and labor, said Michael Rex King, Palletized Trucking's president and CEO.
His sales were up 20 percent to 25 percent in January compared with the same month in 2010.
For the full year of 2009, sales dropped by 40 percent.
Joachim said World Trade Distribution's business has picked up 15 percent since last October, but it is still 15 percent less than 18 months ago.
"That's still a significant hit," Joachim said.
As trade rebounds, companies must react to find equipment and space on vessels after shippers reduced capacity in the last 18 months.
Pack n send has republished portions of this article written by Houston Chronicle journalist Jenalia Moreno. We look for positive upswings in the Houston and US economy for both freight and cargo.