b'Port of Brownsville gets boost from USMCAPORT OF BROWNSVILLEGETS BOOST FROM USMCABy Tad Thompson, AJOTJul 25, 2022 | Published originally in AJOT Issue #743I nternational trade through the Port of Brownsville, TX, isCampirano noted that Brownsville has long been the booming. deepest port on the U.S. Gulf, with a 42-foot channel. To serve Eduardo Campirano, CEO, and port director, notes thatthe largest ships now traversing Panamas deepened canal, the COVID year, 2020, proved to be the most successful inBrownsville is now dredging to 52-feet.Brownsvilles long cargo history.Heavy Industrial Product Moves We operated 24-7 and we continue to do what we did in 2020, he said. For 2021, cargo tonnage amounted to 13.8Campirano said Brownsville moves more imported steel million tons, breaking 2020s record of 11.6 million. into Mexico than any other U.S. seaport. For Brownsvilles final tally in 2022, even greater numbersIn 2021, the ever-growing steel sector at the port registered are anticipated, with yet more cargo tonnage expected in 2023.a record of 4.3 million tons of steel products moved. This The North American Free Trade Agreement, signed in 1994,volume, which is mostly shipped by rail, is not in finished was good for Brownsvilles trade. The subsequent United States- products, but Brazilian steel slabs, and other products go to Mexico-Canada Agreement, which went into effect July 1, 2020,Monterrey steel mills for production of a variety of goods was also a positive, Campirano said. I dont know if it changedincluding automobiles and appliances. Finished products often our dynamics, but it hasnt hurt.come into the U.S. through the landport of Laredo, TX. He stressed Brownsvilles position upon the Gulf of MexicoFor 2022, Brownsville expects to handle 4.5 million tons at the U.S.-Mexico border was recognized centuries ago as anof steel slabs from Brazil. This climbed to a 3.0- to 3.5-percent ideal international trade site. increase over 2021. It is projected to increase again in 2023 and Today, Brownsville is the bullseye as a trade center across2024.the Rio Grande River, and as a global player for trade through theBrownsville also receives imported pig iron and petcoke for Panama Canal, and with Latin America and countless trans- shipping to Mexican and U.S. mills.Atlantic opportunities.Petroleum-based commodities represented nearly 50% None of these opportunities have been lost on Brownsvilleof Brownsvilles total cargo moved, with 6.3 million tons. A management leaders.significant contributor to this is refined oil products, such as But already, products from every continent pass throughlubricants, jet fuel and unleaded and premium gasoline. Brownsvilles Free Trade Zone Number 62. At the other end of the energy spectrum from petroleum But Campirano said most of his ports cargo tonnage isis the wind component business, which is very good, for exports, with that majority is moving cargo into Mexico, servingBrownsville, Campirano said. Matamoros is a wind blade industrial towns such as Monterrey and San Luis Potosi.manufacturer, which exports through the Port of Brownsville to Our proximity impacts south Texas, but we play acustomers offshore and in the U.S. (The largest of these wind significant part in northern Mexico logistics, he added. Muchblades are 260 feet long!)of what we import is exported to Mexico, with a substantialOther interesting sectors of Brownsvilles port business is volume of those imports being shipped upstream Rio Grandesteel recycling through dismantling retired Navy ships. land bridges, such as Pharr or Los Indios, Texas. The port also has a 9,000-foot dock for serving the Gulfs largest shrimp boat fleet.Pharr International Bridge, which is owned and operated by the City of Pharr, TX, is the US largest land bridgefor receiving fresh Mexican Produce.16'