Watch Now

Borderlands: Three new multimodal hubs for Texas

Alpenglow Rail opened the first phase of its 51-acre rail park in Port Arthur, Texas, on Dec. 8. (Photo: USA Rails)

Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Three new intermodal hubs signed for the Texas Gulf Coast; jury awards $500,000 for damage from truck accident; NTG promotes Drew Herpich to chief commercial officer; and Volkswagen links U.S.-Mexico factories through cloud services.

Three new intermodal hubs for Texas Gulf Coast

USDG announced Wednesday the development of a $130 million multimodal oil-handling terminal in Port Arthur, Texas.

The news from USDG came a week after Denver-based Alpenglow Rail and USA Rail Terminals announced a new transloading logistics park in Port Arthur.

Phoenix Park Energy Marketing also recently announced plans to construct the Southern Gateway Rail Hub, a 30,000-barrels-per-day liquefied petroleum gas rail terminal in Corpus Christi.

Houston-based USDG’s new multimodal oil-handling facility will be called the Port Arthur Terminal. It will be specially designed to handle DRUbit, a proprietary blend of Canadian heavy crude oil formulated to be nonhazardous and nonflammable for transportation by rail.

“By giving producers in the Canadian oil sands a safe and efficient means of transporting product to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries and manufacturers, we anticipate the new terminal will represent a long-term investment for USDG with continued growth,” Borgen said in a release

Port Arthur Terminal, which is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2021, will initially have 40 full-time employees.

The new terminal will be near the Port of Port Arthur, an international seaport located on the Gulf of Mexico. Port Arthur is about two hours from Houston and is surrounded by petrochemical, refining and liquefied natural gas facilities.

Alpenglow Rail opened the first phase of its 51-acre rail park in Port Arthur on Dec. 8. The facility already has railcars rolling onto some 30,000 feet of track.

The new Port Arthur facility also has the capacity to store over 900 railcars, switch more than 15,000 carloads per year and provide a full suite of rail services. Kansas City Southern serves the 51-acre terminal.

“Our first phase of construction at Port Arthur was such a huge success that we are announcing that we will roll immediately into our phase 2 construction, doubling the facility to store more than 1,000 railcars and constructing a state-of-the-art transloading facility that will be capable of handling many commodities such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, crude oil, asphalt, biodiesel, ethanol and more,” Rich Montgomery, Alpenglow Rail chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Houston-based Phoenix Park Energy Marketing also announced plans to construct the Southern Gateway Rail Hub, a 30,000-barrels-per-day LPG rail terminal in Corpus Christi. 

The Southern Gateway Rail Hub will serve export markets from local LPG supply sources by one or more Class I railroads.

Phoenix Park Energy Marketing did not provide a time frame for completing the project.

NTG promotes Drew Herpich to chief commercial officer

Nolan Transportation Group recently promoted Drew Herpich to chief commercial officer as part of a strategic reorganization.

Drew Herpich

Herpich will lead NTG’s carrier department, enterprise strategy and operational services. Under Herpich’s leadership, NTG’s carrier department will execute on its centralized carrier network strategy, dedicating a team to carrier department and relations.

“Drew is the best in the business when it comes to understanding the needs of our carriers as well as developing real partnerships that can differentiate NTG from other brokers and better serve our shippers,” said Geoff Kelley, president of NTG. “His expertise will help NTG develop the carrier base NTG needs to support our brokerage operations and overall growth objectives.”

Herpich joined NTG in July as executive vice president for enterprise strategy. Prior to that, he spent 13 years with Coyote Logistics in various roles, including serving as senior vice president of carrier sales.

Texas jury awards $500,000 for damage from truck accident

A federal jury in Beaumont, Texas, awarded $500,000 to a man whose warehouse was destroyed by a fire caused by a trucking accident. 

On Dec. 10, the jury said Faenas Transport driver Alfredo Angel caused the “occurrence in question” when he struck an “active electrical power pole” with his truck, according to filings. The pole fell onto a warehouse belonging to Jasper Long and started a fire that “destroyed the warehouse and its contents.”

The incident occured on June 2018 in Jasper, Texas, where Long had a 50-year lease on the metal fabrication warehouse, according to his filings.

Faenas Transport LLC is listed as having a home office in West Valley City, Utah. 

Volkswagen links US-Mexico factories through Amazon cloud services

Volkswagen plans to connect its production facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the Mexican cities of Puebla and Silao with its industrial cloud initiative, a partnership between Volkswagen and Amazon Web Services.

The collaboration will leverage AWS technologies in the areas of the Internet of Things, machine learning, data analytics and computing services. The initiative is designed to increase efficiencies and production innovation in each of the factories, officials said. 

“This is a big and critical step for our digital transformation as we work to apply the knowledge gained from one of the largest vehicle production networks in the world to our facilities in the U.S. and Mexico,” Johan de Nysschen, chief operating officer for Volkswagen Group of America, said in a release.

Starting in the spring, the three factories will connect through an app store approach, with each location obtaining software applications for their machines and systems directly from the industrial cloud.

Chattanooga, Puebla and Silao are the first Volkswagen factories outside of Europe to take part in the initiative. The industrial cloud will link all of Volkswagen’s global factories, and eventually its suppliers, to simplify the exchange of data across systems and plants.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Noi Mahoney.

More articles by Noi Mahoney

Auto parts factory creating 700 jobs in Mexico

More layoffs in Texas for Southwest Airlines, Hilite International

China replaces Mexico as US top trading partner

2 women face federal terror charge over train interference

Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]