Resin shipping firm Plastic Express Inc. will occupy a major new rail service center in Baytown, Texas, by the end of 2021.
Plastic Express, based in City of Industry, Calif., will be in place at Cedar Port Logistics Center in Baytown by December, according to a June 14 news release from developer Capital Development Partners.
The site will be used for warehousing and logistics. The two firms worked together on a similar project in Savannah, Ga., where CDP is based, in early 2020.
The Baytown site covers more than 800,000 square feet. It offers dual rail service via a short line to BNSF Railroad and Union Pacific Railroad to serve import and export customers at the Port of Houston, officials said in the release.
The center is 12 miles away from the Port of Houston and is near the expanded Grand Parkway (Highway 99), a major heavy-haul freeway directly linked to the port. The center also is supported by the 7,800-rail car Cedar Port Z Yard, which provides rail car storage and switching to both UP and BNSF railroads.
"The strategic location, rail service efficiencies and supporting infrastructure provides our customer with a significant competitive advantage," CDP CEO John Knox Porter said in the release.
Officials added that "massive demand" for modern facilities in land with constrained markets near major U.S. ports is being fueled by the widening of the Panama Canal, the strategic position of the Port of Houston, the emergence of e-commerce and the continued growth of the Gulf Coast region.
Plastic Express was founded in 1970 by Ray (Junior) Kurtz in Orange, Calif. Its first jobs were hauling PVC pipe and fittings in the Southwestern U.S. The firm entered bulk transportation in 1975 and started packaging and warehousing work in the early 1990s.
Plastic Express now operates 13 full-service facilities and 36 bulk terminals across the U.S. The firm has more than 200 employees and more than 250 customers.
Several logistics firms have opened major new assets in Texas over the last several years as large amounts of resin capacity — mainly for polyethylene — have been added as the U.S. has developed low-priced shale oil and gas feedstocks. Much of this new capacity has been targeted at export markets.
Most recently, Packwell Inc. of Houston earlier this month announced plans to build a resin packaging facility in Baytown similar to the one that will be occupied by Plastic Express. The Packwell facility will feature three high-speed packaging lines, 350 truck spots and capacity for 500 rail cars.