AAPA Seaports Advisory

Facility Expansion: Freeport (TX), Houston

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Port Freeport Celebrates Rail Groundbreaking

Port Freeport has begun construction of phase 1 of a 250-acre rail development project that will be developed into a multimodal industrial park complete with new warehousing facilities for plastic resins packaging, cross-docking activities and distribution centers.

The Parcel 14 Rail Development has been one of the port’s long term strategic objectives for many years and will enhance landside accessibilities and supply chain efficiencies for the port’s current and future users and for Brazoria County’s petrochemical industry.  

Additional areas of the site have been earmarked for new vehicle processing and storage. Union Pacific Railroad will offer manifest train service on the new rail infrastructure.  

In July, Port Freeport Commissioners approved the issuance of a notice to proceed to James Construction for the $21 million project. Approximately 21,000 linear feet of rail track will be constructed consisting of a 6,000-foot lead track spurring from the Union Pacific main line at Cherry Street, that crosses SH 36, and then connects to three ladder tracks of approximately 5,000 feet each.

"In addition to adding rail capacity to Port Freeport’s infrastructure portfolio," said Port Executive Director Phyllis Saathoff, PPM®, "the new rail facility will enhance our partnerships with area industry, and will be the first step in future connections to the Texas International Trade Corridor."

The port anticipates the new rail infrastructure being fully operational by July 2018.

Breaking ground for new rail development at Port Freeport. From left: Ravi Singhania – Port Commissioner; Bill Terry – Port Commissioner (Asst. Secretary); Phyllis Saathoff, PPM® – CEO & Executive Port Director; John Hoss – Port Commissioner (Vice Chairman); Shane Pirtle – Port Commissioner (Secretary);  and Jason Evans – Project Manager, James Construction
Photo/Port Freeport

Construction Begins on Container Yard at Port Houston

As part of a public/private partnership at Port Houston, ground was broken August 16 for a new container yard for empty containers at Bayport Container Terminal.

Terminal Link Texas (TLT) is constructing the facility, which will increase TLT’s overall stacking capacity by as much as 80 percent. It also will allow for increased container freight station activities and improved maintenance and repair operations. The new container yard is slated to open in July of 2018.

As part of the lease agreement between Port Houston and TLT, the company will construct and use the fortified 25-acre container yard at Bayport and return 14 existing acres that it operates there to Port Houston. The facility is part of the master plan for Bayport.

The container trade is booming at Port Houston, where volume through July was up 12.7 percent compared to the first seven months of 2016. The port expects continued growth "for the foreseeable future as petrochemical facilities along the Houston Ship Channel expand and produce more plastic resins for export."

Bayport, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, is being built out in phases. Upon completion, the terminal will have seven berths. Port Houston, which also operates the Barbours Cut Container Terminal, handles about two-thirds of all the containers that move through the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. 


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