TX - Mills: Port Mansfield could soon be handling 400 containers a day
RAYMONDVILLE, Texas – Port Mansfield could be handling 200 to 400 containers per day before too long.
So says Ron Mills, Willacy County Navigation District’s director. In an exclusive interview with the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service, Mills said he expects the port to be moving between $250-$300 million of trade within the next three to five years.
The growth, he said, is down to the fact that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has dredged the port’s ship channel. Previously the “cut” in the South Padre island sand barrier was just three feet deep, barely enough for small fishing boats to negotiate. Now, thanks to the Corps’ work, it has a depth of 17 feet, which allows ocean going barges and tugs to enter the harbor.
“I have about five potential customers where we are past the preliminary stage. We have probably moved into the stage of almost signing paperwork,” said Mills, talking about new business coming to the port.
“There are various types of programs but I cannot get into the details. But, it is probably about $40 million in initial investments. I expect it to bring in about somewhere between 250 and 300 million dollars over the next three to five years, on a regular basis.”
In addition to thanking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mills said he appreciates the funding provided by the state of Texas. “The state has already funded and is nearing completion on what they call a queueing yard, a large five acre area to put containers on.”
Asked what sorts of products the port will be handling, Mills said: “It is a myriad of stuff.” Asked if it was mostly going to be warehousing, Mills said: “No, not at all. In fact, very little of it is warehousing. The queueing yard will have warehousing affiliated to it directly. And that is probably going to be a million square feet of warehousing. The rest of the projects vary.”
Mills said he could not provide full details at this stage.