HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As more than 100 cargo ships sit off the coast of California waiting to be unloaded, Gov. Greg Abbott is offering the ports in Texas to speed up the process.
In a tweet, he said "Texas ports are open & ready to help fix America's supply chain backlog. We can get goods out faster & at a lower cost than California due to our centralized location. Choose Texas."
The Port of Houston said the unprecedented demand for import container cargo has placed stress on most ports in the United States, but they have not experienced it to the degree others have.
The latest numbers from San Pedro Bay indicate they have 102 ships off the coast waiting to be unloaded.
"The surge in cargo volume, along with disruption in ship schedules, have contributed to an average of 5-10 container vessels waiting offshore for berthing space (docking) during this past month," said a spokesperson for the Port of Houston.
In an interview with Fox Business this week, Gov. Abbott said it would cost less for cargo ships to dock in Texas ports and they could disperse goods quicker because of the state's central location.
"In just two weeks, those ships could go through the Panama Canal and go to the Houston port and Freeport port in the state of Texas and unload and be back in Asia before they would even be unloaded in California," the governor said in speaking with Fox Business.
Margaret Kidd, program director of supply chain and logistics technology in the College of Technology at the University of Houston, said Gov. Abbott's offer was a "very classic economic messaging and it was very timely."
"I applaud Gov. Abbott's message yesterday," Kidd said. "Texas is open for business. We have a very competitive advantage with the size of our state, the access to rail and highways, and the connectivity to the entire country."
While she does not see ships backing out of San Pedro Bay and heading to the Gulf of Mexico, she does believe that, as supply chain managers fine-tune their plans for the future, Texas will see more trade.
"We are seeing a record number of major corporations relocate to Texas and, at the end of the day, we should ask, 'Does Silicone Valley end at social media?' and 'Does Texas begin the future leading industrial innovation?'"
ABC13 reached out to Gov. Abbott's office on Tuesday for comment but did not hear back.