U.S. Southwest Site Selector

The Site Selector offers an objective ranking of 331 U.S. cities based on criteria important to logistics professionals.

This customized listing looks at the top 50 cites and metropolitan areas located in the U.S. Southwest, which includes Arizona, California (southern), Colorado, Nevada (southern), New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. The Site Selector is based on material developed by Expansion Management and Logistics Today.

The Site Selector matrix provides an overall ranking of each city within the Southeast region, as well as an indication of the city's national ranking. Other categories include:

Transportation and distribution (T&D) industry is based on businesses and employment base providing transportation, distribution, warehousing and related services.

Work force/labor is geared to existing and available logistics-related workers in the area.

Road infrastructure measures factors like available lane miles per capita, interstate highway access, miles of paved roads, etc.

Road density, congestion and safety ranks the city on traffic volumes and delays as well as accident statistics and other factors affecting the smooth flow of traffic.

Road condition draws on state performance and includes condition of highways and bridges, among other measures.

Interstate highway includes access to interstate highways, spending on highway construction and maintenance, etc.

Taxes and fees provides a measure of logistics-related costs, including highway and fuel taxes, inventory taxes (where present), etc.

Railroad offers a state-based rank of access to Class 1 and other rail services, miles of track, etc.

Waterborne commerce includes ocean port capacity as well as inland waterways.

Air cargo ranks the city on its access to cargo services, including widebody passenger service by combination carriers, international and expedited services.

2005 Regional Rank
2005 National Rank
Metropolitan Area
T&D Industry Rank
Work Force/Labor Rank
Road Infrastructure Rank
Road Density, Congestion and Safety Rank
Road Condition Rank
Interstate Highway Rank
Taxes & Fees Rank
Railroad Rank
Waterborne Commerce Rank
Air Cargo Rank
2004 National Rank
2003 National Rank
2002 National Rank
3-Year Avg.
1
6
Houston, TX
7
111
174
268
92
54
116
14
2
6
7
15
11
11
2
16
Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA
2
91
28
296
260
4
161
140
4
2
30
12
8
17
3
25
Dallas, TX
12
248
174
244
92
4
116
7
165
9
17
31
31
26
4
31
San Diego, CA
47
87
28
204
260
32
161
140
60
24
38
9
7
18
5
32
Fort Worth-Alrington, TX
42
145
174
244
92
4
116
7
165
70
13
42
29
28
6
36
Tulsa, OK
59
116
290
115
306
54
7
30
65
61
56
73
76
68
7
37
San Antonio, TX
51
93
174
125
92
32
116
105
165
45
22
32
26
27
8
51
Denver, CO
26
167
128
267
57
18
232
112
165
15
110
59
74
81
9
54
Oklahoma City, OK
46
52
290
213
306
18
7
57
165
59
57
101
89
82
10
55
Orange County, CA
32
60
28
116
260
100
161
140
164
30
194
104
35
111
11
64
Phoenix-Mesa, AZ
17
253
107
300
31
100
189
63
165
13
85
125
99
103
12
68
Riverside-San Bernardino, CA
13
149
28
240
260
54
161
140
165
31
86
60
35
60
13
70
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX
140
133
174
90
92
161
116
23
5
194
40
57
48
48
14
78
Salt Lake City-Ogden, UT
31
135
141
302
35
32
211
192
165
35
96
76
61
78
15
81
Lubbock, TX
151
20
174
48
92
161
116
64
165
109
74
81
77
77
16
95
Corpus Christi, TX
171
201
174
74
92
161
116
151
8
132
42
40
34
39
17
96
Austin-San Marcos, TX
95
157
174
231
92
161
116
105
165
53
45
58
54
52
18
101
El Paso, TX
66
219
174
240
92
100
116
151
165
83
58
61
52
57
19
103
Amarillo, TX
161
100
174
41
92
100
116
151
165
149
60
70
70
67
20
104
Brownsville-Harlingen-San Benito, TX
136
55
174
251
92
273
116
64
47
130
122
75
53
83
21
110
Laredo, TX
61
36
174
149
92
161
116
151
165
191
108
79
56
81
22
134
Brazoria, TX
231
176
174
11
92
273
116
14
25
274
200
217
115
177
23
136
Greely, CO
154
164
128
6
57
100
232
195
165
205
218
99
121
146
24
137
Balveston-Texas City, TX
260
196
174
143
92
161
116
14
9
315
121
190
107
139
25
147
Odessa-Midland, TX
158
82
174
67
92
161
116
279
165
131
77
95
71
81
26
148
Wichita Falls, TX
263
160
174
2
92
161
116
105
165
197
124
114
95
111
27
156
Albuquerque, NM
93
102
297
299
134
100
116
293
165
68
119
268
247
211
28
157
Las Vegas, NV
78
183
258
293
5
100
285
318
165
29
109
64
116
96
29
160
Tucson, AZ
157
291
107
315
31
100
189
266
165
51
171
216
154
180
30
164
Bakersfield, CA
113
241
28
184
260
273
161
97
165
128
249
229
197
225
31
168
Killeen-Temple, TX
210
123
174
128
92
161
116
105
165
264
140
151
140
144
32
175
Colorado Springs, CO
169
246
128
138
57
161
232
265
165
90
230
199
174
201
33
193
Abilene, TX
300
240
174
36
92
161
116
151
165
193
112
124
130
122
34
194
Pueblo, CO
322
258
128
1
57
161
232
112
165
204
243
194
225
221
35
198
Waco, TX
243
318
174
56
92
161
116
221
165
141
129
138
118
128
36
213
Flagstaff, AZ
262
232
128
12
34
100
195
315
165
198
169
143
123
145
37
214
Grand Junction, CO
253
320
128
68
57
161
232
195
165
165
286
198
194
224
38
215
McAllen-Edingburg-Mission, TX
119
166
174
141
92
273
116
151
165
291
116
171
153
147
39
217
Provo-Orem, UT
206
39
141
265
35
161
211
232
165
237
266
233
235
245
40
228
Ventura, CA
139
263
28
215
260
273
161
298
73
119
262
222
146
210
41
234
Longview-Marshall, TX
184
123
174
205
92
161
116
221
165
295
155
183
182
173
42
236
Tyler, TX
240
270
174
104
92
161
116
221
165
219
222
206
191
206
43
243
Santa Barbara-Santa Maria- Lompoc, CA
202
159
28
168
260
273
161
259
165
110
244
225
142
204
44
244
Boulder-Longmont, CO
294
297
128
144
57
161
232
195
165
156
323
247
286
285
45
249
Fort Collins-Loveland, CO
244
328
128
216
57
161
232
195
165
166
307
275
269
284
46
259
Las Cruces, NM
259
264
297
228
134
100
116
131
165
274
273
284
277
278
47
260
San Angelo, TX
326
230
174
15
92
273
116
105
165
267
185
171
170
175
48
274
Victoria, TX
328
330
174
256
92
273
116
151
48
231
204
249
246
233
49
281
Sherman-Denison, TX
313
299
174
13
92
273
116
151
165
299
166
179
182
176
50
293
Lawton, OK
330
314
290
81
306
161
7
147
165
294
250
237
238
242
Source: Based on material developed by Expansion Management and Logistics Today


TxDOT says decisions to fund roadway improvements to accommodate a 2,000-acre truck production facility helped Toyota Motor Manufacturing decide to build that facility in San Antonio.


Texas highway funding comes about equally from state and federal funds, with only 1% labeled as "other." When it comes to spending the money, 41% goes to maintaining the roadways, bridges, airports and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway infrastructure, and 35% to highway, bridge and airport construction and improvements.

Behrens acknowledges that traditional funding can't keep pace with the needs of the Texas transportation system. Governor Rick Perry approved changes to allow transportation improvements to be funded through toll revenue and public-private partnerships.

Proposals for the Trans-Texas Corridor would provide a multi-modal transportation system featuring separate truck lanes and high-speed passenger rail, computer and freight rail. These corridors, which would place the various modes side-by-side where feasible, include a route paralleling Interstate 35 from the Oklahoma border to the Mexico border, a route paralleling I-10 from El Paso to the Louisiana border, and a route paralleling I-45 from Houston to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In public meetings, the I-35 corridor was favored by 59% of Texans, I-10 by 29% and I-45 by 28%.

Following various public meetings, four corridor sections have been identified as priority segments and two others are proposed: parallel to I-35, I-37 and I-69 from Denison to the Rio Grande Valley; I-69 from Texarkana to Houston to Laredo; I-45 from Dallas-Ft. Worth to Houston; and I-10 from El Paso to Orange.

Cintra-Zachry, the contractor selected for the planned I-35 corridor, has proposed investing $6 billion in a toll road between Dallas and San Antonio by 2010, which gives the state $1.2 billion for additional improvements between Oklahoma and Mexico and extending the corridor into the Lower Rio Grande Valley to Mexico.

Rail has not been ignored. In an effort it says will reduce congestion and improve safety, TxDOT entered into a study with Union Pacific focusing on relocating freight rail away from metropolitan areas and began negotiations to reroute many freight trains out of the I-35 urban corridor.

Among the successes it claims, NAFTA left Texas with a price to pay, namely the massive impact on its transportation infrastructure. In 1999, TxDOT announced a $1.8 billion acceleration of projects along the border. In the fourth year of a 10-year program, the price has escalated to $2.4 billion.

Texas has devolved authority for much of the work to regional mobility authorities, noting as it did so, that regions best understand their own local needs. But as part of that process, it has also given regional authorities the ability to introduce tolls to raise funds for various infrastructure projects.

While highways are vital in the transportation scheme, connections with other modes have also gotten attention. The Port of Beaumont, about 90 miles northeast of Houston, is evaluating improved rail access to the port as part of its attempts to increase efficiency.

The Port of Houston Authority has also embarked on some substantial projects to improve its operations. In its recent financial year, the Port of Houston Authority reported a nearly 13% rise in revenues from $119 million to $134 million. Total tonnage increased along with number of containers. The port handled a record 1.4 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) in 2004 vs. 1.2 million in 2003. (The port first topped 1 million TEUs in 1999.)

Facing continued growth, the port has embarked on a $1.2 billion terminal project at the Bayport Container and Cruise Terminal. In Phase 1a, which is underway, the port will expand 1,660 feet of wharf space and develop 65 acres. The total project calls for 7,000 feet of wharf and 1,043 acres for facilities. Phase 1a is slated for completion in mid-2006 and future development will take place incrementally based on market demand.

Various rail projects totaling $50.7 million cover the landside operations of the port. An $11 million project will bypass rail crossings from State Highway 146 to Port Road. Another $7.7 million project will create a corridor to Barbours Cut Container Terminal for the Union Pacific and Bayport railroads.

A rail freight line alongside the UP at Bayport will provide some of the same level competition at Bayport as Barbours Cut. That project accounts for another $19.7 million. A fourth project along State Highway 146 will replace grade level crossings and improve efficiency while reducing interaction between trains and trucks accessing the port.

Texas law has a provision that allows commissioners' courts of two or more contiguous rural counties to create a rural freight rail district. This district can then contract with political subdivisions and private parties — including railroads.

As the Port of Houston's Edmonds points out, this means the region can act together to deal with larger regional issues. He points to a series of studies that looked at regional issues and identified 756 railroad grade crossing in Harris County and the region around the Port of Houston. As a group, the various constituencies can address the safety and efficiency issues this raises along with other freight flow issues. In fact, the studies looked at creating freight rail corridors and also examined funding opportunities for those projects.

In a recently completed legislative session, Texas lawmakers approved the creation of a freight rail district for Harris County. That decision takes effect September 1. The next step is to bring together city and county governments and get their approval — a task Edmonds believes can be completed before the end of 2005.

Houston's largest airport, Bush Intercontinental Airport, has also experienced a growth spurt. In 2004, it handled 768 million pounds of freight, up 5.6% from 2003. The volumes were split about equally between cargo deplaned at Houston and cargo enplaned there. Growth of inbound (deplaned) cargo was 6.6% when compared with 2003, and outbound (enplaned) cargo grew 4.6%.

The airport is undergoing a continuing $3.1 billion renovation that includes a new $180 million air cargo distribution center. With recent improvements in its cargo facilities, the airport has 880,000 square feet of cargo area.

The Houston Airport System recently announced its choice of a "preferred alternative" for future development of the Bush Intercontinental Airport will include two additional east-west runways. The next step in the process is to finalize the layout, determine the development sequence, establish a land acquisition plan, prepare detailed cost estimates, develop a funding plan, create a ground access improvement plan and formulate a strategy to meet demands for other support facilities such as cargo buildings and hangers.

At nearly the same time the airport authorities were announcing the expansion decision, the airport welcomed Varig Logistics, the Brazilian cargo carrier, which made its first direct cargo flight to Houston. Varig also operates cargo flights to Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

The old line that everything is big in Texas may still have some truth to it. It doesn't appear that Texas is afraid of big issues.

Resources

Bush Intercontinental Airport
iah.houstonairportsystem.org

Cintra-Zachry
www.zachry.com

Houston Airport System
www.houstonairportsystem.org

Port of Beaumont
www.portofbeaumont.com

Port of Houston Authority
www.portofhouston.com

Texas Department of Transportation
www.dot.state.tx.us/txdot.htm

Toyota Motor Manufacturing
www.toyota.com

Trans-Texas Corridor
www.keeptexasmoving.com

Union Pacific
www.up.com

Varig Logistics
www.varig.com

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