The Port of Galveston has reported that it has reached the highest recorded monthly tonnage figure since 1999. This past month the Port of Galveston handled 974,765 short tons.

A breakdown of the commodity report shows that over 611,000 tons of grain moved through the Archer Daniels Midland Company grain elevator, a dramatic increase more than 35% over March 2010.  In 2009 the Board of Trustees approved changes to the ADM lease that made it possible for ADM to implement their rail track expansion project that called for improving and adding tracks, as well as installing new rail switches.

“Historically, export grain has been the mainstay for the port. There was no doubt that rail improvements would improve productivity at the elevator and it is gratifying to see how the infrastructure improvements ADM made paid off. The Port looks forward to working with ADM on future improvements that will allow them to further diversify their cargo mix,” said Steve Cernak, Port Director.

Although grain was the leader in cargo increases this month, other cargo segments added substantially to the overall picture. Liquid bulk contributed with a 28% increase over March 2010 and roll-on roll-off cargo adding close to 39,000 tons representing an increase of almost 35% over this same month in 2010.

The Port of Galveston is Texas’ gateway for cruise sailings and international trade. The Port serves as the primary point of embarkation for cruises to the western Caribbean and handles over 850,000 cruise passengers annually with an estimated 916,000 in 2011. Three cruise lines sail from Texas’ only cruise port including Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, and Royal Caribbean. The Port is a self supporting enterprise fund with operating revenues of approximately $21 million. It does not rely on tax dollars for operations.