Report cites $3B impact by Port of Brownsville

BROWNSVILLE — A new report by Martin Associates, a Pennsylvania-based economic and transportation consulting firm, concluded that the Port of Brownsville supported 3,052 direct jobs and generated $169.5 million in direct personal income in 2018.

The port also generated nearly $619 million in direct business revenue and directly generated $12.9 million in local and state taxes for the year, according to the report, which also analyzed the port’s secondary and tertiary economic and impacts. For example, Martin Associates found that port activity supported 3,888 “induced jobs,” or those jobs generated locally and regionally through local purchases made by people directly employed by the port.

Another 1,580 indirect jobs were the result of $151.3 million in local purchases by businesses that supply services at the port’s marine terminals, and by businesses that depend on the port for shipment and receipt of cargo and on repairs to ships and offshore rigs, according to the report.

Martin Associates prepared the report as part of its economic analysis of the Texas Maritime Transportation System.

Also in 2018, marine cargo activity and ship- and offshore-rig repair supported $3 billion in economic activity in the state, said the report. Of that, nearly $619 million represented direct revenue received by companies providing maritime and inland transportation services for cargo handled at marine terminals, vessels calling at the port, and repair and maintenance services.

The $169.5 million in direct personal income was part of $2.6 billion in total personal wage and salary income and “local consumption expenditures” across the state attributable to the port’s marine activity. The figure also includes $711.6 million in direct, indirect, induced and local consumption expenditures, with the remaining $1.9 billion received by users of the cargo that moves through the port, according to Martin Associates.

In addition to the 8,420 direct, induced and indirect jobs sustained by the port’s maritime activity, nearly 43,000 more jobs were supported among companies that used the cargo handled by the port, according to the analysis, which does not include port revenues from leases and rents, non-waterborne activities and fishing harbor operations.

Meanwhile, total state and local taxes generated as a result of maritime activates was $201 million, including the $12.9 million generated directly by port operations.

“The data clearly show that the Port of Brownsville is a remarkable resource with a reach extending far beyond the Rio Grande Valley,” said the report’s author, economist John Martin. “With more than 51,000 jobs related to the port’s operations and more than $3 billion in total economic impact across the state, the port is a significant driver of opportunities today and in the future.”

John Reed, chairman of the Brownsville Navigation District, said the port recently celebrated a “record year in tonnage” and that its economic impact has “set a strong foundation for future growth.”

“The numbers on local job growth speak for themselves as factors in the port’s development into a hub of business activity,” he said.