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
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:
|Air||Two runways (9,600-ft & 8,200,ft – both expanding to 11,000-ft)||
5,000 spaces of parking capacity
|Ground||Tenants offer 24-hr/day operations Direct travel to Dallas and Fort Worth||
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.
|Total employment 7||67,000|
|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
|Air Traffic||Rail Traffic 13|
|FY||Total aircraft received||Cargo only||Non-Cargo||FYTotal Rail Containers Lifted*|
*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.
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.
Source: BNSF Railway
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
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