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From the Texas Wide Open for Business Guide 2016-2017

Keep on Truckin'


Texas has more logistics assets — from rail infrastructure and seaports to air cargo facilities and roads — than most countries.

Reunion Tower in downtown Dallas where logistics is booming.
Reunion Tower in downtown Dallas where logistics is booming.
Photo courtesy of Heather Overman

With a GDP of $1.6 trillion, it stands to reason that huge amounts of goods move into, out of and around the state of Texas. For the 14th straight year, Texas has led the nation in exports, to the tune of $251 billion in goods in 2015 — $102.5 billion of that went to Mexico.

It’s a good thing Texas has the logistics chops to keep pace with the volume of in-state and out-of-state commerce that make it a leading global economy in its own right. Its south-central location mid-way across the continental US and 624-mile Gulf of Mexico coast are natural logistics advantages.

Others include:

  • 11 deep water seaports, two of which — Beaumont and Corpus Christi — rank among the top 10 US ports for total cargo volume; 10 are designated as foreign trade zones;
  • More than 1,000 miles of channel maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers;
  • Scheduled air service to nearly 30 communities, including three major hub airports — Dallas-Ft. Worth International (American Airlines), Dallas Love Field (Southwest Airlines) and Houston George Bush Intercontinental (United Airlines);
  • The largest freight-rail system in the United States with more than 14,300 miles of track and 47 freight railroad operators;
  • Intermodal rail facilities throughout the state, from El Paso, Laredo and the Rio Valley on the Mexican border to Alliance in Fort Worth and four others in the Dallas Metroplex to several in the Houston-Galveston area to San Antonio in the interior;
  • The Alliance Global Logistics Hub and Port San Antonio include air cargo facilities with US Foreign Trade Zone designations and US Customs facilities on site; and
  • More than 313,000 miles of public roads, which is more than any other state in the country.

High Expectations

What does this logistics smorgasbord mean to enterprises in the business of moving products from point to point? It means they have a wealth of locations from which to choose — and from which to realize substantial supply chain efficiencies.

In February 2016, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) opened its new, 275,000-sq.-ft. parts distribution center in Dallas with high hopes for its contribution to improving customer service and for its role in DTNA’s broader supply chain. Heavy-duty truck manufacturer DTNA makes commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Thomas Built Buses and other brands.

“We are excited about this new parts distribution center, which is more than just a building,” says Jay Johnson, DTNA’s general manager of supply chain, at the opening. “It’s part of our strategy to get closer to our customers.”

The new facility, according to the company, is a critical, strategic component that will allow customers to receive stock and mission critical parts in record time — its goal is to set the benchmark for parts availability, and it’s already happening.

“The new Dallas parts distribution center and supporting supply chain initiatives have dramatically improved our ability to service our customers,” says Dan Stevens, chief operations officer and partner of Lonestar Truck Group. “The speed with which we receive parts has improved front-counter customer satisfaction due to improved fill rates. Technician morale and efficiency has improved as well.”

Adds Rich Shearing, president of Premier Truck Group: “With the addition of the Dallas PDC, our lead time on parts has been reduced by two days. This reduction will help us improve customer uptime as we continue to increase our dealership throughput.”

Water Transportation

SectorFirmsWorkersAvg. Wage
Marine Cargo Handling707,978$44,564
Water Transportation1554,691$90,272
Port & Harbor Operations401,660$59,800

Freight Trucking

SectorFirmsWorkersAvg. Wage
General Freight Trucking4,37180,487$46,644
Specialized Freight Trucking2,50839,808$53,716
Freight Transportation Arrangement1,72023,638$58,240

Air Transportation

SectorFirmsWorkersAvg. Wage
Scheduled Air Transportation9955,365$67,080
Air Transportation Support58520,091$64,168
Non-Scheduled Air Transportation2696,010$67,236

Rail Transportation

SectorFirmsWorkersAvg. Wage
Rail Transportation Support1014,241$45,916
Rail Transportation1166$55,224
Source: Office of the Governor / Economic Development & Tourism

Mark Arend
Editor in Chief of Site Selection magazine

Mark Arend

Mark Arend has been editor in chief of Site Selection magazine since 2001. Prior to joining the editorial staff in 1997, he worked for 10 years in New York City at Wall Street Computer Review, ABA Banking Journal and Global Investment Technology. Mark graduated from the University of Hartford (Conn.) in 1985 and lives near Atlanta, Georgia.


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