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Study Shows Positive Economic Impact by the Port of Brownsville

 Major Activity at the Port Supports Increase in Jobs and Revenue for the State and Region

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (August 22, 2019) — In Texas where a trade-friendly economy is growing, the Port of Brownsville supports a total of $3 billion in total economic activity for the state and is responsible for more than 51,000 jobs within the borders.

Such findings are based on an independent analysis conducted by Martin Associates on port activity for the 2018 calendar year.

“We celebrated a record year in tonnage earlier and are pleased to see our economic impact set a strong foundation for future growth,” said John Reed, Brownsville Navigation District Chairman. “The numbers on local job growth speak for themselves as factors in the port’s development into a hub of business activity.”

The Port of Brownsville has become a major center for industrial development with over 230 companies doing business in the region. Furthermore, 51,468 jobs in Texas are related to the cargo moving through the marine terminals and activity at the ship building and rig repairs. Personal income from such employment totaled at $2.6 billion. In addition, a total of more than $200 million in tax revenue were generated by activities at the port.

The study found 8,500 local jobs are supported by $151.3 million of local purchases by business supplying services at the marine terminals and by business dependent upon the port for ship and receipt of cargo.

“The data clearly show that the Port of Brownsville is a remarkable resource with a reach extending far beyond the Rio Grande Valley,” said economist John Martin, PhD, who authored the latest report. “With more than 51,000 jobs related to the port’s operations and more than $3 billion in total economic impact across the state, the port is a significant driver of opportunities today and in the future.”

Not included in the report are revenues from leases and rents, non-waterborne activities and fishing harbor operations. These values will be mentioned in future economic impact reports.

The Port of Brownsville is a hub of major economic activity. In 2018, the port set new records in tonnage, moving 11.3 million short tons of diverse cargo of energy and liquid products, agriculture goods, aggregates, wind-turbine components and steel. The port also generated more than $24 million in operating revenue. Such activity is set to continue the positive impacts on the region’s economy and workforce.

The analysis was based on interviews from firms providing services to the cargo and vessels handled in marine terminals at the navigation districts. Impacts measured were jobs, employee earnings, business revenue and state and local taxes.

For a complete copy of the report, visit www.portofbrownsville.com/resource_category/fact-sheets/

About the Port of Brownsville

The Port of Brownsville is the only deepwater seaport directly on the U.S.-Mexico border, and the largest land-owning public port authority in the nation with 40,000 acres of land. It transships more steel into Mexico than any other U.S. port.

With more than $43 billion worth of projects currently in the works, the Port of Brownsville is transforming the Rio Grande Valley by creating positive investment opportunities and jobs.

 

 

Activity at the Port of Brownsville creates more than 51,000 jobs and adds $3 billion in total economic activity in the state of Texas, according to a recent economic impact study performed by Martin Associates.

Notice of Public Hearing on Tax Increase

The Brownsville Navigation District of Cameron County, Texas, will hold two public hearings on a proposal to increase total tax revenues from properties on the tax roll in the preceding tax year by 3.968277 percent (percentage by which proposed tax rate exceeds lower of rollback tax rate or effective tax rate calculated under Chapter 26, Tax Code).  Your individual taxes may increase at a greater or lesser rate, or even decrease, depending on the change in the taxable value of your property in relation to the change in taxable value of all other property and the tax rate that is adopted.

The first public hearing will be held on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, at 5:30 PM at 1000 Foust Road, Brownsville, Texas.

The second public hearing will be held on Tuesday, August 27, 2019, at 5:30 PM at 1000 Foust Road, Brownsville, Texas.

The members of the governing body voted on the proposal to consider the tax increase as follows:

FOR: John Reed, Sergio Tito Lopez, Ralph Cowen, John Wood, and Esteban Guerra

AGAINST:  NONE

PRESENT and not voting:  NONE

ABSENT:  NONE

The average taxable value of a residence homestead in Brownsville Navigation District last year was $92,837.  Based on last year’s tax rate of $.035920 per $100 of taxable value, the amount of taxes imposed last year on the average home was $33.35.

The average taxable value of a residence homestead in Brownsville Navigation District this year is $97,335.  If the governing body adopts the effective tax rate for this year of $.034549 per $100 of taxable value, the amount of taxes imposed this year on the average home would be $33.63.

If the governing body adopts the proposed tax rate of $.035920 per $100 of taxable value, the amount of taxes imposed this year on the average home would be $34.96.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend the hearings and express their views.

Special Feature: Mexico Makes Sense

The Port of Brownsville’s proximity to Mexico, Latin America’s second largest economy, uniquely positions the port as the nation’s key transshipment gateway delivering goods and commodities to nearby multinational manufacturing centers on both sides of the border.

Ranking among the top U.S. steel ports, the Port of Brownsville moves more steel into Mexico than any other domestic competitor.  In 2018, the port moved 3.2 million short tons of steel across the southern border.

Nearby Monterrey is a major industrial center in northern Mexico with a metropolitan population of nearly 5 million and home to dozens of commonly recognized international corporations. Monterrey is located 200 miles due west from the Port of Brownsville, where steel makers have come to rely upon the logistical efficiencies provided by the port. Convenient border crossings are located just seven miles from the port by truck and 13 miles by railroad.

In fact, the Port of Brownsville is more than 100 miles closer to Monterrey than the nearest Mexican port.

Recently implemented Mexican oil reforms, with the introduction of free market price dynamics in the fuel market – in addition to strong exports of steel – are contributing to the dramatic increase of cargo crossing the border. Ultra-low sulfur diesel, premium gasoline and specialty lubricants make the trip southbound by truck with increasing volumes and frequencies. Fuel imports, like No. 6 fuel, travel northbound by unimpeded rail crossings to the port as well.

These increases firmly entrench the port’s foreign trade zone as a consistent export leader. In the most recent report to Congress, FTZ No. 62 ranked number two for the third year in a row for the value of exported goods out of 293 FTZs in the U.S., reaching $3.6 billion for the reporting period.

That comes as no surprise with more than 10 million eager consumers within a three-hour drive of the port – with many of those located south of the border. Moving cargo across the border in both directions is made easy with a wide variety of reliable transportation options.

Providing Class 1 rail service to and from the port to Mexico and all of North America includes Kansas City Southern de México for operations south of the border, with Union Pacific and BNSF Railway serving northern routes. On-port rail service is provided by agreement with OmniTRAX, operating the Brownsville Rio Grande International Railway (BRG) on more than 45 miles of port-owned railroad.

When trucks are a better option, the Port of Brownsville claims conceptual ownership of the state’s first overweight corridor. Trucks crossing the border in either direction utilizing the corridor, to or from the port, can load to the legal weight limits of Mexico – 125,000 pounds (45,000 pounds heavier than domestic limits). That translates into remarkable savings in both time, money and logistical efficiencies.

The Port of Brownsville ranks among the leading U.S. steel ports, moving more steel into Mexico than any other domestic competitor.

 

Signet Maritime: Twenty One Years Prioritizing Safety

In June Signet Maritime celebrated 21 years of tugboat operations at the Port of Brownsville

The company’s full-service navigation center at the Brownsville ship channel provides ship, barge and rig movements as well as harbor tugboat operations since 1998. The Brownsville fleet includes three tugboats, the Signet Defender, Signet Ranger and the Signet Magic. These high-powered tugs assist ships and barges, often more than ten times their size, navigate through the 17-mile long ship channel.

The port’s intermodal expansion and continued growth have led to a higher demand for Signet’s services.

“As the years go by, we are starting to have bigger ships and bigger barges, oil rigs and new demand for more power,” said Ida Treviño, Signet Maritime Operations Manager. Treviño has worked with the company since its inception at the Port of Brownsville.

“Tugboat captains are on call for 24 hours and are required to assist with traffic in all-weather while maintaining safe conditions and guidelines.” Said Reyes Martinez Captain and Senior Manager at Signet Maritime.

The company operates with the highest management standards, placing special emphasis on safety while fostering a friendly atmosphere to its employees.

“It’s a family-oriented business,” Treviño said. “It’s very nice to work here because everyone wants to work here. Mr. and Mrs. Snyder, the owners of the company, are very supportive, which is why we’re all here. We’re very comfortable with Signet,” Treviño said.

Headquartered in Houston, Signet boasts six full service navigation centers in the U.S., as well as an international operations center in Dubai, UAE.

Signet Martime’s fleet at the Port of Brownsville Includes three tugboats, the Signet Defender, Signet Ranger and the Signet Magic.

Keppel AmFELS is Building Ships

Keppel AmFELS is building ships at the Port of Brownsville, introducing a new industry to the state of Texas.

To facilitate the construction of deep-draft vessels at Keppel’s shipyard, the port partnered with the company to build a Public Vessel Assembly and Erection Pad. The project was completed July 31.

The assembly pad, measuring 292 ft. long and 1,102 ft. wide, is used to assemble Jones Act vessels to transport cargo along the U.S. coast from one domestic port to another. The Jones Act is a federal law regulating maritime commerce in the U.S. The law requires goods shipped between U.S. ports to be transported on ships that are built, owned and operated only by U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

The U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration awarded the port a $1.8 million grant for the construction of the pad. The total cost of the project was $5.3 million.

On April 30th, Keppel AmFELS held the ceremonial keel laying for the M/V George III and the cutting of the first steel plates for the M/V Janet Marie, the first two vessels being built at the Port of Brownsville.

The two containerships will join Pasha Hawaii’s fleet and serve the Hawaii/U.S. trade lane. Delivery of the vessels is expected in 2020. The secured contract with Pasha is worth more than $400 million and is a departure from Keppel AmFELS focus in the repair and construction of oil exploration vessels and offshore platforms and rigs.

The technical work required to build these vessels is estimated to create 700 new skilled jobs.

Grain Overseas: Bulk Cargo Dock Rehabilitation Nears Completion

The Port of Brownsville will resume exporting grains by vessel with the rehabilitation of the bulk cargo dock scheduled for completion in August.
The renovation project is part of an agreement the port entered with West Plains LLC in 2016 to restore and operate the grain elevator, with capacity to store three million bushels of grain. Since restoration efforts began, West Plains has invested multiple millions of dollars in its facility, while the port has pitched another $5.5 million to the project.
The bulk cargo dock will work in tandem with the renovated grain elevator to give South Texas and Mexican grain producers access to international markets. Once complete, the modern facilities will be equipped with efficient and high-speed handling of grain through all modes of transportation – truck, rail and vessel loading and unloading.

West Plains currently moves grains, including yellow corn, dried distillers grain, milo, and sugar by rail and truck.

To load and unload the grain and other granular type material from the ships, machines with large conveyor belts will move from one end of the ship to another collecting grain onto the conveyor belt and depositing the cargo from the other end onto storage areas built close to the ship.

Port of Brownsville Update on KURV’s Radio Show

Port Director and CEO Eduardo A. Campirano was recently a guest on KURV’s radio show “The Valley’s Morning News”.

Campirano spoke about the record-breaking year the port experienced in 2018, as well at the steel industry and other important projects that are helping transform the economic landscape of the Rio Grande Valley.

Listen to the interview HERE

 

Ranking among the top U.S. steel ports, the Port of Brownsville moves more steel into Mexico than any other domestic competitor. In 2018, the port moved 3.2 million short tons of steel across the southern border.

Independent Auditor Confirms Record Year and Clean Audit for the Brownsville Navigation District

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (June 27, 2019) —  The Brownsville Navigation District’s (BND) annual external audit confirmed June 26, 2019, verified record operating revenues and tonnage for fiscal year 2018.

The audit reviewed the district’s financial statements and figures, which reflected an increase in total operating revenue and tonnage for the Port of Brownsville for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2018.  The total operating revenue was $24,209,767.  This marks a 4 percent increase from the 2017 fiscal year. Total tonnage for the 2018 fiscal year also met and surpassed records, registering 11.3 million short tons, an increase of 6.6 percent from fiscal year 2017.

“The Port of Brownsville is a consistent model of excellence. We are making important financial decisions that have positive returns.  This audit reflects our commitment to transparency and fiscal responsibility,” said John Reed, BND Chairman.

The report was presented by BND Director of Finance, Lorena Hernandez, CPA  and Carlos Barrera, Partner at Carr, Rigs, and Ingram LLC.

“The audit demonstrates that the district and management is presenting and publishing accurate data, that there are no material misstatements and that we are safeguarding the assets of the district,” said Hernandez.

The independent audit firm issued an unmodified opinion given that the BND’s financial statements were presented fairly following standard accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.  According to the audit’s outcomes, the BND is providing truthful records and reporting precise numbers.

The audit’s findings will be published as part of the BND’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

About the Port of Brownsville

The Port of Brownsville is the only deep-water seaport directly on the U.S.-Mexico border, and the largest land-owning public port authority in the nation with 40,000 acres of land. It transships more steel into Mexico than any other U.S. port. With more than $40 billion worth of projects currently in the works, the Port of Brownsville is transforming the Rio Grande Valley by creating positive investment opportunities and jobs. Activity at the port is responsible for adding more than $2 billion to the regional economy, $3 billion to the Texas economy, and for the creation of more than 44,000 jobs statewide.

Port of Brownsville Achieves Significant Milestone in Channel Deepening Project

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (June 18, 2019) – The Port of Brownsville is closer to deepening the Brownsville Ship Channel after receiving a key permit June 6 from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to advance the Brazos Island Harbor Channel Improvement Project (BIH) to its construction phase.

The USACE permit is the latest milestone in the port’s effort to deepen the ship channel from 42 feet to 52 feet, resulting in significant navigational safety improvements for commercial shipping in South Texas.

“Today we find ourselves on the verge of a new economic era for the Rio Grande Valley and the channel deepening is essential for our continued progress and success,” said John Reed, Brownsville Navigation District Chairman. “These crucial infrastructure projects solidify our presence in the global market and create better economic opportunities for our local workforce.”

When complete, the Port of Brownsville will be among the deepest ports on the Gulf of Mexico, enhancing its competitiveness by closely aligning with the design features of the expanded Panama Canal.

Planning to deepen the ship channel from 42 feet began in 2007 with a project feasibility study. In 2014, the USACE completed the feasibility study recommending deepening the channel to 52 feet. Two years later the U.S. Congress authorized the channel deepening project, making the BIH eligible to receive federal funding.

The project may cost upwards of $350 million, with construction expected to commence in 2020. The port expects to pay for the project with a combination of public, private and federal funds.

Demonstrating confidence in the public-private partnership (P3) strategy, NextDecade Corporation, owner of the proposed Rio Grande LNG natural gas liquefaction plant at the port, announced a landmark agreement with the BND April 24th, agreeing to pay 100 percent of the deepening project from the western boundary of its lease site along the ship channel to the channel’s offshore origin (more than nine miles) – or more than half of the deepening project. NextDecade’s part includes perhaps the most challenging and costly portions.

Other proposed port projects are expected to join the P3, sharing the costs and benefits of deepening the channel.

Completion of the channel deepening is important in attracting new business opportunities and allowing existing companies at the port to further expand their services. In addition, the port will be able to accommodate deeper draft cargo vessels carrying heavier loads, which translates to a greater economic impact per vessel for the region.

 

About the Port of Brownsville

The Port of Brownsville is the only deep-water seaport directly on the U.S.-Mexico border, and the largest land-owning public port authority in the nation with 40,000 acres of land. It transships more steel into Mexico than any other U.S. port. With more than $40 billion worth of projects currently in the works, the Port of Brownsville is transforming the Rio Grande Valley by creating positive investment opportunities and jobs. Activity at the port is responsible for adding more than $2 billion to the regional economy, $3 billion to the Texas economy, and for the creation of more than 44,000 jobs statewide.

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit is the latest milestone in the Port of Brownsville’s effort to deepen the ship channel from 42 feet to 52 feet, resulting in significant navigational safety improvements for commercial shipping in South Texas.