USMEF backs USDA agreement with Port of Houston


USMEF backs USDA agreement with Port of Houston

A new agreement between the USDA and the Port of Houston will increase capacity for exporting chilled and frozen ag commodities.

Travis Arp with the U.S. Meat Export Federation says the plans allow the USDA to lease additional chassis to fully utilize the port’s capacity for refrigerated containers.

“There was a lot of increased volume of refrigerated containers going through the Port of Houston,” he said. “Houston was having issues with managing those containers as well as having the available chassis to move that product.”

He tells Brownfield the Port of Houston is a major point of international trade for agriculture.

“It’s about a half billion dollars of beef, pork and poultry that moves through that port,” Arp said. “It’s probably a more important gateway for the poultry industry versus anybody, but at the same time it’s the largest non-West Coast port for beef products.”

The Agricultural Marketing Service will cover 50 percent of the costs during the first year of its five-year lease.