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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: LaredoImpact to the Texas Economy, 2018

Ports of entry within the state of Texas accounted for nearly $740 billion in international trade in 2018. Texas has 29 official ports of entry that serve as critical gateways to global trade. Each port, whether an airport, land port or seaport, serves many domestic and international economic activities across multiple industries. Each Texas port plays a distinctive role in the state’s transportation network and contributes to the state and local economies.

Of Texas’ total international trade, $408 billion, or 55.2 percent, traveled across the state’s border crossings with Mexico, with the Laredo port of entry accounting for 57.6 percent of land port trade, or about $234.7 billion.1 Each Texas land port is unique, facilitating the movement of people and goods between the neighboring countries through rail, commercial and personal vehicles and pedestrian traffic.

Economic Contribution

Based on the Comptroller’s estimate, trade through the Laredo port of entry in 2018 affected about 474,400 net jobs in Texas, and about $72 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) is related to trade through this port of entry (Exhibit 1).2

Exhibit 1:Trade through the Laredo Port of Entry
Estimated Total Contribution to the Texas Economy, 20183
DescriptionValue
Total direct trade value $234.7 billion
Related gross domestic product4 $71.7 billion
Total employment affected5 474,400

Sources: Regional Economic Models Inc. (REMI) model for Texas, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Laredo Port of Entry Trade

Laredo’s several border crossings form one of 11 land ports along Texas’ 1,254-mile border with Mexico.

Exhibit 2: Trading Partners and Trade Products through  the Laredo of Entry (based on $ value), 2018
DescriptionPartners/Products
Top trading partner using this port: Mexico
Top products imported through this port: vehicles, machinery, electronics
Top products exported through this port: machinery, electronics, vehicles, plastics

Source: U.S. Census Bureau: Economic Indicators Division, USA Trade Online

In 2018, the Laredo port of entry handled northbound border-crossing traffic of about 2.3 million trucks, more than 5 million cars (with nearly 11 million passengers) and more than 3.7 million pedestrians.

Shipping activity through this port accounted for $234.7 billion in trade in 2018, 193 percent more than in 2003 ($80.1 billion) (Exhibit 3).

Laredo Port of Entry, All Trade (All Commodities), 2003 to 2018

Exhibit 3: Port of Laredo, All Trade (All Commodities), 2003 to 2018
Year Total Trade through Laredo (in billions) Percentage of Total Trade through land ports
2003 80.1 billion dollars 51%
2004 91.3 billion dollars 52%
2005 95.6 billion dollars 52%
2006 105.7 billion dollars 52%
2007 112.5 billion dollars 52%
2008 118.8 billion dollars 53%
2009 98.4 billion dollars 52%
2010 125.3 billion dollars 52%
2011 149.8 billion dollars 54%
2012 168.5 billion dollars 55%
2013 180.0 billion dollars 56%
2014 199.6 billion dollars 57%
2015 205.1 billion dollars 57%
2016 199.9 billion dollars 56%
2017 214.7 billion dollars 57%
2018 234.7 billion dollars 58%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau: Economic Indicators Division, USA Trade Online

The Laredo port of entry’s top trading partner, Mexico, accounts for nearly all trade traversing the port (Exhibit 4). Mexico represents 97.5 percent of this port’s total trade, while the second largest trading partner, China, represents 1 percent.

Exhibit 4:Laredo Port of Entry Trade Value (2014 to 2018)
YearOverall Trade (billions) Trade with Mexico (billions)
Total TradeExportsImports Trade % of Total ExportsImports
2018 $234.7 $100.4 $134.3 $228.8 97.5% $100.2 $128.5
2017 $214.7 $94.4 $120.2 $208.6 97.2% $94.2 $114.4
2016 $199.9 $88.8 $111.1 $193.8 96.9% $88.7 $105.0
2015 $205.1 $91.8 $113.3 $198.6 96.8% $91.7 $106.9
2014 $199.6 $91.8 $107.8 $193.2 96.8% $91.4 $101.8

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau: Economic Indicators Division, USA Trade Online


  1. U.S. Census Bureau: USA Trade Online – U.S. Import and Export Merchandise trade statistics.
  2. Regional Economic Models Inc. (REMI) model for Texas was used with total trade value attributed to this port as a percentage of Texas’ total trade value as an input. These data were used to generate a weighted estimate of net jobs and GDP associated with trade at this port.
  3. The estimated contributions offer a strong indicator of the economic importance of this port of entry to Texas; estimates as such are not precise quantifications of direct or indirect contributions to the Texas economy.
  4. “Gross domestic product” refers to the total value of all final goods and services produced in Texas.
  5. “Total employment” refers to both direct and indirect employment.
  6. U.S. Census Bureau: Economic Indicators Division, USA Trade Online.

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