economy

Port of Entry: Fort Worth - AllianceTexasImpact to the Texas Economy, 2015

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Texas' location, geography and diverse economy offer unique trade opportunities with other states and countries. Texas has a number of ports of entry, including seaports, inland ports and border crossings, which facilitate the movement of imports and exports. Texas ports of entry contribute to the state and local economies, each in a very distinctive way.

The state of Texas was responsible for nearly $650 billion in international trade in 2015. Of Texas' total international trade, $71.1 billion or 11.3 percent attributed to cargo arriving and/or departing by air through the state's air/multimodal ports.1

Description of AllianceTexas and the Alliance Global Logistics Hub

In 1990, Hillwood Development Company (Hillwood), partnered with the Federal Aviation Administration and the city of Fort Worth to open Fort Worth Alliance Airport as the world's first industrial airport. Located in the northern part of Fort Worth as well as the cities of Roanoke, Haslet, Westlake and Northlake, the AllianceTexas development has grown around the airport into an 18,000 acre, mixed-use community.2 AllianceTexas includes nearly every real estate asset class, including office, industrial, medical, aviation, retail and residential components as well as the Alliance Global Logistics Hub, which serves as the development's inland port.

Since its inception, AllianceTexas has received more than $8 billion in public and private investment, including a recently-awarded $100 million Charles Schwab Corporation campus and a Facebook data center, that will encompass 2.5 million square feet upon completion.

The Alliance Global Logistics Hub is one of Texas' two intermodal logistics facilities connecting air, road and rail (Port San Antonio being the other), allowing businesses to take advantage of and provide services for trade arriving via all three modes of transportation.3 Each facility has immediate access to an airport with a long runway, rail facilities and major highways. Alliance Global Logistics Hub includes Alliance Airport, BNSF Alliance Intermodal Facility, Union Pacific and BNSF Class-1 rail lines and the FedEx Southwest Regional Sort Hub. 4

The Alliance Global Logistics Hub includes:

  • 9,600 acres (part of a larger 18,000-acre master-planned, mixed-use development);
  • direct access to Interstate Highway 35/State Highway 170/State Highway 114;
  • a 500+-acre multifaceted rail facility (owned and operated by BNSF) with direct access to West Coast ports;
  • two runways, currently at 9,600 feet and 8,200 feet and both expanding to 11,000 feet by 2017, capable of handling large aircraft such as the DC10, B747, B787 and AN124;
  • a general-purpose Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ #196) covering the entire port; and
  • an integrated infrastructure system (air, rail and ground).
Access and infrastructure
Air Two runways (9,600-ft & 8,200,ft – both expanding to 11,000-ft)
  • Ability to handle largest aircraft
  • Control tower operates 24/7
Rail 376 acres
5,000 spaces of parking capacity
  • BNSF Intermodal Rail Facility
  • Direct access to BNSF and Union Pacific, Two Class-1 rail lines
Ground Tenants offer 24-hr/day operations Direct travel to Dallas and Fort Worth
  • Direct access to Texas Hwy 114 and 170
  • Direct access to IH35-W

Economic Data

The entire AllianceTexas development directly created more than 45,000 jobs, with 31,000 directly attributed to the Alliance Global Logistics Hub and related activities (e.g., industrial and transportation industry development). This direct employment includes 175 employed by the facility itself, 1,300 employed by companies utilizing FTZ-196, 6,400 employed in and around Alliance Airport and 7,100 employed in and around the intermodal facility. 5

Comptroller staff applied data obtained from various sources as inputs using the REMI (Regional Economic Models, Inc.) model for the State of Texas to generate estimates of the Alliance Global Logistics Hub's contributions to state-level employment, gross domestic product, output and disposable personal income.6 The Comptroller estimates that the operation at the Alliance Global Logistics Hub at AllianceTexas contributed $10.9 billion to the Texas economy and supported 67,000 jobs in 2015.

Estimated Contributions of the Alliance Global Logistics Hub to the Texas Economy, 2015
Total employment 7 67,000
Output 8 $10,931,158,000
Gross domestic product 9 $6,427,430,000
Disposable personal income 10 $3,571,499,000

Source: REMI Model for Texas

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts recognizes that facilities such as the Alliance Global Logistics Hub affect the state economy in positive ways that may be difficult to measure. Each facility's distinctive characteristics contribute to the Texas economy but, while instrumental to the state's economic growth, cannot always be quantified. Although the estimated contributions presented above provide a strong indicator of the economic importance of the Alliance Global Logistics Hub to Texas, the Comptroller acknowledges there is potential for additional positive economic impact to the state.

Alliance Airport saw a record year for air cargo in 2015, with 263 million pounds loaded and unloaded. The BNSF Alliance Intermodal facility owned and operated by BNSF had more than 640,000 "lifts" in 2015 – that is, the placement on or removal of train cargo units – with about 80 percent of these units coming in from Asia through the U.S. West Coast. 11

Capital investment continues at the Alliance facility with BNSF announcing plans for expanded parking and support tracks; furthermore, BNSF, Hillwood and resin packaging firm Packwell have tentatively agreed to build a new plastics export packaging facility. 12

Alliance Global Logistics Hub Operations, 2014 and 2015
Air Traffic Rail Traffic 13
FY Total aircraft received Cargo only Non-Cargo FYTotal Rail Containers Lifted*
2015 117,499 5,460 112,039 640,000
2014 115,514 4,164 11,250 600,000

*A "Lift" is the process of moving a cargo container on to or off of a railcar or chassis at an intermodal ramp. Lift equipment used includes gantry cranes, sideloaders and stackers.
Sources: AllianceTexas and BNSF Railway

In addition, the annual Bell Helicopter Fort Worth Alliance Air Show coordinated by Alliance Air Productions, a non-profit organization, drew over 80,000 visitors in 2016 and AllianceTexas touts that over 72,000 trees have been planted within the development.

Alliance Global Logistics Hub Tenant Highlight
BNSF Railway's Alliance Intermodal Facility

BNSF Railway, headquartered in Fort Worth, is one of North America's leading freight transportation companies, operating 32,500 miles of track in 28 states and three Canadian provinces. BNSF and its employees, have developed one of the most technologically advanced and efficient railroads in the industry. BNSF's operation at Alliance includes three unique facilities: intermodal transport, classification yard and finished vehicle transport.

  • Classification Yard (railcars are classified and grouped according to movement requirements)
    • approximately 300 BNSF employees, including road crews and yard crews
  • Finished Vehicle Transport
    • 50 acres with 4,300 bays for finished vehicles
    • estimated 15,000 railcars unloaded in 2016 (75 percent more than in 2015)
  • Intermodal Transport (handling of containers)
    • approximately 270 direct employees
    • 376 acres with approximately 5,000 spaces of container parking capacity
    • six loading/unloading tracks supported by 12 overhead cranes
    • over 640,000 units (lifts) handled in 2015
    • 2,800 trucks enter or exit per day meeting approximately 17 intermodal trains

Source: BNSF Railway

Federal Customs District Growth

The Alliance Global Logistics Hub is part of the larger Dallas-Fort Worth Customs District, which includes the area stretching from Tulsa, OK to San Antonio, with the width of Lubbock to Dallas, capturing all trade activity in-between. While being a significantly large area, the DFW region represents 93 percent of the total value of goods traded in the entire trade district. With $58.5 billion in trade, the district was the nation's 16th largest, by value, in 2015.14

Dallas-Fort Worth Customs District Total Trade. Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Texas has 29 official ports of entry that serve as critical gateways to global trade. Each port, whether accessible via air, land or sea, serves a variety of domestic and international economic activity across multiple industries. The high quality of Texas' ports has a significant impact internationally as well as across the state from its largest cities to the most rural counties. Texas ports play an important role in the state's transportation network, as each directly contributes to and thus affects the entire transportation system. Texas ports contribute to the overall strength and diversity of Texas' economy which ranks 10th in GDP when compared to other nations.15