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Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

economy

Port of Entry: Fort Worth – AllianceTexasImpact to the Texas Economy, 2018

Ports of entry within the state of Texas accounted for nearly $740 billion in international trade in 2018. Texas’ location, geography and diverse economy offer unique trade opportunities with other states and countries. Texas has 29 official ports of entry that serve as critical gateways to global trade, including seaports, inland ports and border crossings. Each Texas port of entry contributes to the state and local economies in a distinctive way.

AllianceTexas and the Alliance Global Logistics Hub

In 1989, Hillwood Development Co. (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. Composed of the northern part of Fort Worth as well as the cities of Roanoke, Haslet, Westlake, Northlake and Denton, the AllianceTexas development has grown around the airport to include a 26,000-acre, master-planned and mixed-use community.1 AllianceTexas includes the Fort Worth Alliance Airport, BNSF Railway’s Alliance Intermodal Facility, FedEx Southwest Regional Sort Hub and Amazon Air’s newest regional air hub among its 500-plus companies in residence.2

Since its inception, AllianceTexas has received more than $9.8 billion in public and private investment. AllianceTexas’ resident companies now include 70 firms from Fortune 500 (U.S. public), Global 500 (international public) or Forbes’ list of top private companies in the United States. Recent companies to join the roster include Stanley Black & Decker, Amazon Air and XPO Logistics.3

The Alliance Global Logistics Hub includes:

  • 9,600 acres (part of the larger 26,000-acre, master-planned, mixed-use development)
  • direct access to Interstate Highway 35 West, State Highway 170 and State Highway 114
  • a more than 500-acre multifaceted rail facility (owned and operated by BNSF) with direct access to West Coast ports
  • two runways, each at 11,000 feet in length, capable of handling large cargo aircraft such as the DC10, B747, B787 and AN124, with 24/7 air traffic control
  • a general-purpose Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ #196) covering the entire port
  • an integrated infrastructure system (air, rail and ground)

The Alliance Global Logistics Hub is one of Texas’ two intermodal logistics facilities connecting air, road and rail (Port San Antonio being the other) and allowing businesses to take advantage of and provide services for trade arriving via air, rail and ground transportation (Exhibit 1). 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 Railway’s Alliance Intermodal Facility, FedEx Southwest Regional Sort Hub and access to Class I BNSF and UP rail lines.4 Alliance Airport is the world’s first industrial airport, home to the world’s largest cantilever aircraft hangar.5 AllianceTexas also houses several data centers that comprise 2.5 million square feet and are all powered by 100 percent renewable Texas wind energy.6

Exhibit 1

Fort Worth - AllianceTexas Access and Infrastructure
Transport ModeKey FeatureCapabilities
Air Two parallel runways at 11,000 feet
  • Ability to handle largest aircraft
  • Control tower operates 24/7
Rail 376 acres, with 5,000 spaces of parking capacity
  • BNSF Intermodal Rail Facility
  • Direct access to BNSF and Union Pacific, both Class-I rail lines
Ground Tenants offer 24-hour operations, with direct travel to Dallas and Fort Worth
  • Direct access to Texas Hwys 114 and 170
  • Direct access to IH-35W

Economic Data

Since inception, the AllianceTexas complex and its public and private partners have built more than 45 million square feet of commercial and retail space as well as housing. With a 12-to-1 private-to-public-dollar investment, AllianceTexas has $9 billion in total private investment and $775 million in public investment.7

AllianceTexas has created more than 61,600 jobs, with 37,600 directly attributed to the Alliance Global Logistics Hub and related activities (e.g., industrial and transportation industry development), according to information provided by Hillwood in 2019. Direct employment attributed to the logistics hub includes 300 employed by the facility itself, 1,300 employed by companies utilizing Foreign Trade Zone #196, 6,800 employed in and around Alliance Airport and 7,300 employed in and around the intermodal facility.8

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 (GDP), output and disposable personal income.9 The Comptroller estimates that the operation at the Alliance Global Logistics Hub at AllianceTexas contributed $12.2 billion to the Texas economy and supported 81,300 jobs in 2018 (Exhibit 2).

Exhibit 2

Estimated Contributions of the Alliance Global Logistics Hub to the Texas Economy, 2018
ContributionValue
Total employment10 81,300
Output11 $12,169,000,000
Gross domestic product12 $7,306,000,000
Disposable personal income13 $4,778,000,000

Source: REMI Model for Texas

Alliance Airport saw a record year for air cargo in 2018, with 325.5 million pounds loaded and unloaded (Exhibit 3). The BNSF Alliance Intermodal Facility, owned and operated by BNSF, had more than 916,000 “lifts” in 2018 – the placement on or removal of train cargo units performed.14

Exhibit 3

Alliance Global Logistics Hub Air Traffic Operations, 2016 to 2018
Fiscal Year Total cargo weight in pounds Cargo-only aircrafts Non-cargo aircrafts
2016 301,161,524 5,938 106,563
2017 313,202,221 5,812 112,143
2018 325,506,892 5,673 119,090

Sources: AllianceTexas

Hillwood has recently acquired 600 acres located in the center of its development, increasing its capacity to offer large-scale logistics, manufacturing and aviation sites. The new acreage increases Hillwood’s industrial development potential to more than 36 million additional square feet in Tarrant and Denton Counties.

Alliance Global Logistics Hub Tenant Highlight

BNSF Railway

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 5,300 bays for finished vehicles
    • an estimated 20,000 railcars unloaded in 2018
  • Intermodal Transport (handling of containers)
    • approximately 400 partner (contract) employees
    • 400 acres with approximately 6,000 spaces of container parking capacity
    • six loading/unloading tracks supported by 17 overhead cranes
    • More than 916,000 units (lifts) handled in 2018
    • 3,500 trucks entering or exiting per day to meet approximately 20 intermodal trains

Source: BNSF Railway

Since 1990, AllianceTexas has paid more than $2.25 billion in property taxes cumulatively to the cities of Fort Worth, Haslet, Roanoke and Westlake; the counties of Tarrant and Denton; and the independent school districts of Northwest, Keller and Argyle. In 2018, the project contributed nearly $210 million in property taxes to these local entities.15

Federal Customs District Growth

Port San Antonio is part of the larger Dallas-Fort Worth Customs District, which includes the area stretching from Tulsa, to San Antonio, with the width of Lubbock to Dallas, capturing all trade activity in between. With $58.5 billion in trade, this district was the nation’s 22nd largest, by value, in 2018 (Exhibit 4).12

Exhibit 4

Dallas-Fort Worth Customs District, Total Trade, 2003 to 2018
Year Imports Exports
2003 $12.8 billion $13.6 billion
2004 $17.2 billion $16.4 billion
2005 $20.4 billion $17.8 billion
2006 $25.7 billion $20.7 billion
2007 $25.1 billion $20.7 billion
2008 $25.3 billion $19.8 billion
2009 $21.8 billion $17.4 billion
2010 $25.9 billion $18.1 billion
2011 $31.7 billion $18.4 billion
2012 $33.6 billion $19.2 billion
2013 $37.3 billion $18.8 billion
2014 $40.4 billion $20.6 billion
2015 $36.6 billion $21.9 billion
2016 $33.0 billion $22.5 billion
2017 $35.9 billion $24.3 billion
2018 $35.3 billion $24.5 billion

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Texas’ 29 official ports of entry — whether accessible via air, land or sea — serve 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 would rank 10th globally in GDP if it were a nation.17

Links are correct at the time of publication. The Comptroller's office is not responsible for external websites.

  1. Email communication with Julie Fischer, Communications Administrative Assistant, Hillwood, July 29, 2019.
  2. Hillwood Press Release, Mobility Innovation Zone, June 9, 2019. (June 20, 2019)
  3. Email communication with Julie Fischer, Communications Administrative Assistant, Hillwood, July 29, 2019.
  4. Email communication with Julie Fischer, Communications Administrative Assistant, Hillwood, July 29, 2019.
  5. AllianceTexas, Business Thrives Here, July 19, 2019.
  6. AllianceTexas, Data Center, July 16, 2019.
  7. AllianceTexas Economic Impact and Investment Update 1990-2018. July 29, 2019.
  8. Email communication with Julie Fischer, communications administrative assistant, Hillwood. August 7, 2019.
  9. Estimate inputs and assumptions include the following: (1) all data estimated for 2015; (2) only full-time employees offered by AllianceTexas in the Global Logistics Hub, (3) certain construction costs (4) all economic impact is in Texas.
  10. “Total employment” refers to both direct and indirect employment.
  11. “Output” refers to the total value of all goods and services (both final and intermediate) produced in Texas.
  12. “Gross domestic product” refers to the total value of all final goods and services produced in Texas.
  13. “Disposable personal income” refers to post-income-tax income.
  14. Alliance Texas, Global Logistics Hub, July 19, 2019.
  15. Email communication with Julie Fischer, Communications Administrative Assistant, Hillwood, July 29, 2019.
  16. WorldCity, Inc., “WorldCityTrade Numbers,”
  17. The World Bank, “GDP Ranking,”; and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, “World Bank national accounts of data (2018).”