Welcome to the Port of Brownsville, known around the world as The Port That Works!
My name is Eduardo A. Campirano and I am the port director and CEO and I am your host for today.
The Port of Brownsville opened in May of 1936 and is the largest land-owning public port authority in the United States with approximately 40,000 acres. The port is the only deepwater seaport located directly on the U.S.-Mexico border offering unrivaled access to markets on both sides of the border. Most importantly, we are the closest deepwater port serving Mexico’s industrial centers in Monterrey, a prime manufacturing base for automaking, consumer electronics and home appliances.
The Port of Brownsville is a versatile marine terminal operation supporting businesses dependent upon a wide range of cargos. Refined petroleum products, bulk steel materials like slab and coal and hot rolled steel coils, ore, scrap steel, sand, sugar, cement, windmill components and limestone are some of the many commodities handled here.
And an emerging container on barge service between Brownsville and Tampa, Florida, provides efficient connections with the east and midwest United States, via the I-95 and the I-75 corridors.
The port’s facilities include one million-plus square feet of covered storage, three million-plus square feet of open storage, six liquid cargo docks, along with 13 general cargo docks, providing a safe, secure and environmentally responsible location for international trade as a top priority. The Port of Brownsville offers and supports multiple modes of transportation including ocean-going vessels, all major U.S. and Mexican truck lines, rail service throughout all of North America with a focus on Mexico, barge service, and pipeline access to U.S. and Mexican terminals.
The Brownsville Ship Channel is being deepened from a depth of 42 feet to 52 feet which will support a broader range of cargo ships and alliance with the recent expansion of the Panama Canal, allowing bigger ships to call on the port. When complete, the Port will become one of the deepest ports on the Gulf of Mexico and will be able to accommodate deeper draught cargo vessels carrying heavier loads.
Another example of our commitment to shippers is a process pioneered at the Port of Brownsville that allows trucks to load to the legal weight limits in Mexico while entering or leaving the port along an overweight corridor. Trucks may utilize the corridor when weighing up to 125,000 pounds, 45,000 pounds heavier than domestic loads, while saving time and money by eliminating costly double handling.
The Port of Brownsville is committed to working with the regional community to drive growth and economic prosperity. A 2019 economic impact study found that activity generated by the Port of Brownsville results in three billion dollars in added economic impact and produces 201 million dollars in yearly tax revenues, supporting more than 51,000 jobs across the state, including 8,500 in the Rio Grande Valley.
Many of those jobs are found at Keppel AmFels, the port’s leading employer. Keppel has recently re-introduced shipbuilding to the state of Texas and is currently building two 774 foot long U.S. flag container ships expected to be delivered by mid-2021.
At the Port of Brownsville we are grateful for the progress we have made and the economic leadership we’ve achieved for the Rio Grande Valley and the State of Texas. We are proud of the reputation we have built as The Port That Works for businesses shippers and our hometown, Brownsville, Texas. We are proud to be The Port That Works for everyone.
Editor’s Note: The above commentary was delivered by Eduardo A. Campirano, port director for Brownsville Navigation District, at a recent Virtual Site Selector Tour of Brownsville. The tour was hosted by Select USA and the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation.
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