DENTON COUNTY, TX-The Foreign Trade Zone Board’s 68th annual report to Congress named the Alliance Global Logistics Hub the top U.S. General Purpose Foreign Trade Zone in the country, based on admittance of more than $4 billion of foreign goods. Also making the list’s top five were the Port of Houston Authority and Westport Economic Development Corp. in El Paso.
Stephen Boecking, vice president of business development with Alliance developer Hillwood Development Co. LLC in Dallas acknowledges he was somewhat surprised by the rankings, which reflect 2006 figures, the most recent analyzed. “This is the first time we’ve been ranked number one,” he comments. “We don’t have an ocean. But the railroad is our ocean.”
He says outstanding rail service to Alliance, located north of Fort Worth, was one reason for the high flow of foreign goods into the area. Additionally, “Alliance is a one-day truck drive to 48 million Americans. We have intermodal rail, international air cargo service and we’re right on the Interstate 35-NAFTA highway,” Boecking tells GlobeSt.com.
And that’s only with Alliance 35% developed. “We intend to continue focusing on imports,” Boecking says. “Imports are flat today, but in the long run, over the next 15 years, the national forecast imports are scheduled to double or triple in the U.S.” Alliance is in the perfect location to take advantage of the flow, he adds.
Port of Houston Authority was ranked fourth on the list with its handling of $2.1 billion of foreign goods. According to the Port’s web site, Port of Houston handled 219.1 million tons in 2006. Port experts predict that once the Panama Canal opens, the amount of foreign imports received is likely to double.
Westport Economic Development Corp. came in fifth on the list, pulling in close to $1.2 billion of foreign goods. The city is an active entry point from Mexico, where sister city Juarez is just across the Rio Grande from El Paso.