FT. WORTH-According to the recently released Annual Report of the Foreign-Trade Zones Board to the US Congress, the Board issued 47 formal orders during the 2008 fiscal year. The decisions included approvals for one new general-purpose zone and 20 new subzones.
Authority was also granted for the expansion of 10 existing general-purpose zones. Other actions included six expansions of the scope of manufacturing activity, as well as six approvals for new manufacturing activity in zones.
There were 164 FTZ projects fully active during the year, with subzones in operation in more than 100 of them. The number of facilities using subzone status during the year was 254.
The combined value of shipments into general-purpose zones and subzones totaled over $692 billion, compared with $502 billion the previous year. General-purpose sites received nearly $75 billion in merchandise, while total shipments received at subzone sites amounted to over $617 billion. Some 89% of zone activity took place at subzone facilities, which is consistent with the pattern of the past 15 years. Exports to foreign countries from facilities operating under FTZ procedures totaled over $40 billion.
Nearly 330,000 people were employed at some 2,500 firms that operated under FTZ procedures during the year. Industries that continued to account for most zone manufacturing activity included the oil refining, automotive, pharmaceutical and electronic product sectors. About 57% of the shipments received at zones involved domestic status merchandise.
For the third consecutive year, Alliance Foreign-Trade Zone #196 in Fort Worth, TX ranked as the top general purpose Foreign-Trade Zone in the US in terms of the value of foreign goods admitted, which accounted for $5.357 billion.
Located at the inland port-known as Alliance Global Logistics Hub-FTZ #196 should continue to grow with the 2009 addition of ATC Logistics & Electronics, which is leasing close to one million square feet and employing 2,600 workers at its Alliance facilities.
The port is part of Hillwood-developed AllianceTexas, a 17,000-acre master-planned, mixed-use community that includes Alliance Town Center, the Monterra Village apartment home community, the corporate campuses of Circle T Ranch, the Vaquero estate golf community and the Heritage and Saratoga residential communities. AllianceTexas now houses 7,200 single-family homes and 229 companies that occupy 31.2 million square feet.
In large part due to its role in handling imports, AllianceTexas has had an economic impact of $36.4 billion on the North Texas economy. In addition, the development has attracted $6.8 billion in private investment, generated more than $730 million in property taxes and created 28,000 fulltime jobs. Theres even a 9,400-acre international transportation complex, dubbed Alliance Airport.
We anticipate that the use of the Alliance Foreign-Trade Zone will allow us to realize significant cost savings for our customers, says Antony Francis, president of ATCLE. As we grow and gain a better understanding of how effective it can be, we expect to expand our use of the Foreign-Trade Zone in order to provide the best cost structure to our customers.
In addition to ATC Logistics & Electronics, major users of Foreign-Trade Zone #196 at the Alliance Global Logistics Hub include Hyundai, Trans-Trade, LEGO and Motorola.