Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: $102M cold storage warehouse planned for Houston area; auto parts supplier opens $34M plant in Mexico; steel manufacturer, distributor expands Texas operations; and CBP seizes $21M worth of fentanyl in green beans shipment.
$102M cold storage warehouse planned for Houston area
New Jersey-based cold storage operator FreezPak Logistics and BG Capital are partnering to build a 281,849-square-foot temperature-controlled warehouse in Baytown, Texas.
The partnership, known as BGFP International LLC, acquired a 30.7-acre site in Cedar Port Industrial Park, about 27 miles southeast of downtown Houston.
The facility in Houston is the first project from the partnership, which was formed in August with the aim of building $1 billion worth of cold storage facilities in port-centric markets across the United States.
BGFP International will begin construction on the first phase of the Baytown facility by the end of April. It is scheduled to be completed by mid-2024, with development costing $102 million, according to a news release.
FreezPak Logistics will lease the cold storage facility from BGFP. The facility will include a range of temperature-controlled spaces to accommodate operations such as storage, processing, packaging and distribution.
Cedar Port Industrial Park is about 14 miles from Port Houston and includes direct rail access to the port’s container docks.
The site can also accommodate a second phase of construction to increase the total building size to 547,083 square feet, potentially offering a 408,213-square-foot freezer and a 110,142-square-foot temperature-controlled cooling dock. At full build-out, the facility could also offer parking for up to 141 trailers, 64 trucks and three railcar bays.
Cold storage is one of the hottest sectors of the industrial real estate market, with developments of temperature-controlled facilities hitting an all-time high of 9.8 million square feet by the end of 2022, according to a study from real estate services firm Newmark Group.
The demand for cold storage space across the U.S. is being driven by factors such as an explosion of e-commerce grocery and fresh food delivery services and supportive last-mile operations, industry consolidation, and the replacement of aging facilities, the Newmark study said.
The project in Baytown will be FreezPak Logistics’ largest facility to date. Founded in 2001, FreezPak Logistics is a family-owned company headquartered in Carteret, New Jersey. It currently operates five facilities, including four in New Jersey and one in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia-based BG Capital is a real estate investment and management firm. FreezPak Logistics and BG Capital announced the BGFP International joint venture last year.
BGFP International also has plans for cold chain facilities in Philadelphia and Jacksonville, Florida.
A 171,117-square-foot facility in Philadelphia is scheduled to open by the end of the year; a 272,400-square-foot cold storage warehouse in Jacksonville is scheduled for completion in 2024.
Auto parts supplier opens $34M plant in Mexico
Tier 1 automotive supplier Lear Corp. recently opened a manufacturing plant in the northern Mexican city of Torreon, according to Mexico Industry.
The $34 million facility will create 3,500 jobs, manufacturing components for electric vehicles. The plant will be Lear’s 46th facility in Mexico, where the company employs more than 53,000 people.
Torreon is about 206 miles west of Monterrey, Mexico, and 340 miles from the port of entry in Laredo, Texas.
Lear Corp. is based in Southfield, Michigan. The company designs and manufactures automotive seating and electrical distribution systems. It has more than 250 facilities worldwide and 160,000 workers.
Steel manufacturer, distributor expands Texas operations
Mission, Texas-based Rodco Steel Distributors recently expanded operations with the opening of the Rodco Industrial Center II in the same city.
The new $9.5 million, 100,000-square-foot industrial space will create 15 jobs and help Rodco expand its metal manufacturing operations as well as increase the company’s warehouse space.
Rodco Industrial Center II will also lease space to other industrial and retail firms.
Rodco is a distributor of metal building components, structural steel and other metal products to industries across Texas. The company also manufactures and distributes prefabricated metal buildings.
CBP seizes $21M worth of fentanyl in green beans shipment
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers recently intercepted 3.5 million fentanyl pills in a cross-border shipment in Southern California.
On Monday, CBP officers checked a shipment of green beans arriving from Mexico at the Otay Mesa port of entry just south of San Diego. Officers said they found 308 packages of fentanyl concealed within the shipment. The fentanyl pills have a street value of $21.1 million.
CBP officers seized the tractor, trailer and fentanyl. The driver was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Watch: What do freight volumes look like in specific US markets?
More articles by Noi Mahoney