HARLINGEN, TX – Even as the uncertainty still looms across the world in the new year, the Port of Harlingen experienced growth highlighting hope for the future of the regional economic climate. The Port of Harlingen rounded out 2020 with a rise in commodities, grant funding, navigability, staffing, strategic and master planning, and in its physical footprint.

“Although there was, and still is, so much uncertainty, The Port of Harlingen showed the stability of the economy and industry this past year,” Port Director Walker Smith said. “Industry kept moving and it was a big year for us. The Port of Harlingen is growing in so many ways and that means so is the region.”

The Port continues to increase its overall tonnage of commodities coming through its docks and facilities via barge, rail and truck, boasting a 15% increase over the last fiscal year with 2,329,007 tons at the close of the 2020 fiscal year. The largest commodities increased were concrete, petroleum, agriculture solutions and concrete materials.

“Petroleum continues to be a big factor in our growth,” Smith said. “As the demand grows in our region and across the border, we are fortunate to be able to benefit from the need to transport it in and out of our Port. Both Titan Marine Fuel and Key Petrol are in the process of expanding their facilities here to meet the market need.”

As part of the Port’s aid in meeting growth, a collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) led to improved navigability of the Port’s portion of the Arroyo Colorado by dredging to the authorized depth of a 14ft. channel and 16ft. turning basin. Other partnerships led to major grant funding for construction related projects, including a $5.262 million grant from The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDoT) Rider 38 Grant Program, which will further facility upgrades and expansion. As well as the completion of a truck queuing area and rebuilt and resurfaced roads completed in 2020 from funding through the Rider 45 Grant through TxDoT.

“Our partnerships with our state and federal organizations and leaders are just as essential to us as with our tenants and businesses.” Port Board Chair Alan Johnson said. “Both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and TxDoT have provided us great opportunities to expand our capabilities and we look forward to what these partnerships bring in the next year.”

The Port also had an increase in human resources adding two new positions to their administrative staff. They welcomed Amy Lynch as the Director of Public Relations and Marketing in March, and Robert B. McDonald as the Chief Financial Officer in September.

“I am excited to join a great team at The Port of Harlingen Authority,” McDonald said. “Harlingen is a great place to call home and I am proud to be part of something that adds so much value to Harlingen and the greater Rio Grande Valley area.”

The Port of Harlingen continues to be a major local and regional economic pillar through its roll in transporting goods and creating jobs. The Port has created an impact of $1 billion in economic activity in Texas and $17 million in local and state tax revenue through the generation of more than 4,600 jobs through organizations that support Port services, the use of local goods and services, business generation and marine cargo activity associated with the Port.

Additional Highlights:

  • Completion and approval of new Strategic and Master Plan
  • Updated Website
  • USACE Division and District Commanders Visit
  • Construction began on Administration Building expansion

For more information, contact Amy Lynch at (956) 423-0283 or amy@portofharlingen.com.

Did you know The Port of Harlingen Authority transports 70% of the refined petroleum used in South Texas? For more facts and information about us visit Portofharlingen.com.