Vol. 6, No. 4, September 2021
Photo Courtesy Mason Construction Co.
Manson Construction Company and Keppel AmFELS held the keel laying ceremony for the hopper dredge Frederick Paup Aug. 2.
Keel Laying Ceremony for the Largest U.S. Hopper Dredge 
Manson Construction Co. and Keppel AmFELS, Inc. reached another on-time milestone on Aug. 2, at the Port of Brownsville celebrating with a Keel Laying Ceremony for the hopper dredge Frederick Paup. The keel laying represents the official commencement of construction of a maritime vessel in its final build position, in this case the starboard half of Hopper Bay No. 3.

The ceremony was attended by dignitaries from the shipyard and Manson, including the vessel’s namesake, Manson Chairman of the Board and Executive Vice President, Fred Paup, who is a descendent of the company’s founder, Peter Manson.

"The Keppel AmFELS and Manson teams have been working well together, which is facilitated by our views on the importance of safety and quality," Fred Paup said. "Both companies share the core values of taking care of people, doing the right thing, and finding a better way. That has resulted in excellent communication and transparency throughout the build process. I would like to thank the Keppel AmFELS team and Manson’s project management team for their efforts in making this dredge become a reality."
New Deputy Port Directors at PoB
In August, the Port of Brownsville announced the appointment of two new deputy port directors effective August 9, 2021.

Melinda Rodriguez is the deputy port director of administration and will oversee the port’s Human Resources, Real Estate Services, Finance, Communications and Administrative Services departments.

Rodriguez has worked in a variety of leadership positions with organizations such as NextDecade, Texas Southmost College, Catholic Charities of Central Texas, United Way of Hidalgo County, March of Dimes, Cystic Fibrosis-Central Texas, and United Blood Services. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Texas, Pan American (now UTRGV), a Master of Arts in Human Services from St. Edward’s University, and she is currently working on a doctorate degree. Her career spans 33 years in administration and non-profit management.

Also, Arturo Gomez joins the port staff as deputy port director of operations. He will be responsible for the port’s Engineering, Cargo Services and Foreign Trade Zone, Police and Security, and Facilities Maintenance departments as well as the Harbor Master’s Office. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree specializing in International Business and Commerce from the University of Texas Brownsville (now UTRGV).

Prior to joining the port, Gomez served as the Port of Matamoros’s director of Business Development and Marketing, and Secretary of Economic Development for the City of Matamoros. He has worked in a variety of private sector business activities ranging from farming and agriculture, financial services, construction, and energy.

"We are very excited to have Melinda and Arturo join our port family. Their knowledge and diverse experience will further boost our efforts in responding to the needs of our staff, tenants, business partners and the whole community," said Port Director and CEO Eduardo A. Campirano. "We have a great team of dedicated individuals that have the port’s best interest at heart. The strength of our human capital is vital to the future success of our port."
The Port of Brownsville ranks among the leading U.S. ports capable of receiving, storing and moving massive components for the wind energy sector. In 2020, the port handled a record 21 wind energy projects, including the largest windmill blades ever imported to the U.S. at 265 feet long.
Port's Continued Investments Pay
Editor's Note: This article is featured in the latest edition of the Port of Brownsville Directory. Request a free copy here.
The Port of Brownsville began 85 years ago as a major agriculture hub for the region, and 2020 saw the restart of grain exports of regionally grown sorghum destined to China, creating new international market opportunities for South Texas farming families. The port completed the rehabilitation of Bulk Cargo Dock, improving access to the 3 million-bushel grain elevator operated by WestPlains LLC. In 2020, the port received a $14.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to improve railroad, road and ship-loading infrastructure at the Bulk Cargo Dock and further expand WestPlains’ grain-handling operations at the facility.

To keep up with growing demand for additional cargohandling capabilities, the port invested in a pair of new mobile harbor cranes delivered in 2020. Each crane has 28 wheels and 14 axels and stands at more than 150 feet at their highest height. They are equipped with an advanced mobile harbor crane drive technology that meets EPA Tier 4f emission standards, helping the Port of Brownsville reduce its environmental footprint.
The cranes also boast a maximum lifting capacity of 137.5 short tons and an outreach of up to 167 feet.
Honoring America’s Highway Heroes
In honor of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week (Sept. 12-18), the Port of Brownsville, along with American Trucking Associations and the entire trucking industry, is thanking the millions of professional truck drivers who work every day to deliver America’s freight safely and securely to provide for our communities.

This marks a special celebration of America’s Highway Heroes and pays tribute to all that professional truck drivers have done to help carry America through the coronavirus pandemic and keep the nation’s economy and communities moving forward. Often, this meant sacrificing their own health and wellbeing, or that of their families at home. As essential workers, the efforts and contributions of frontline truck drivers are deserving of America’s gratitude and appreciation. When the world stopped, they kept moving!

On average, more than 1,500 trucks enter the Port of Brownsville daily to pick up cargo and deliver it across the nation and northern Mexico. The types of commodities carried – like refined petroleum products, sugar, salt, grains, windmill components and steel – serve as the foundational backbone of several industries in the U.S. and Latin America.

According to the American Trucking Association, there are more than 3.6 million professional truck drivers nationwide who deliver the nation’s freight safely and securely every day. These men and women log more than 400 billion miles annually and deliver 70 percent of U.S. freight tonnage – more than 10 billion tons. Eighty percent of U.S. communities depend solely on the trucking industry as the only method to receive their goods and commodities.


Vice Chairman




Port Director & CEO

Contact Us:
Ph: 956.831.4592 / 800.378.5395
Fax: 956.831.5006
September 7-8

September 9
Propeller Club Meeting

September 11
Patriot Day
September 12-18
National Truck Driver Appreciation Week  

September 15
BND Board Meeting  
September 16
Mexican Independence Day  
September 22
Fall Season Begins  

September 28-30
Export Trade Increased in Texas
Editor's Note: This article is featured at www.businessintexas.com.
Texas showed significant gains in trade exports as of June 2021 over June 2020, according to the U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services June 2021 report by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Texas moved significantly ahead of 2020 June reported export trade, with an increase of 60% and greatly exceeded 2020 year to date trend with an increase of 25%. 
SteelCoast Commits to Job Creation
Editor's Note: This article is featured at www.myrgv.com.
A performance agreement between the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation and Port of Brownsville ship recycler SteelCoast Company LLC. is expected to produce at least 90 additional jobs within one year for a total of 300 jobs in the near future.
GBIC announced the incentive agreement on Aug. 19.

SteelCoast, which currently employs 170 workers, will expand its operations through the purchase of more than $2 million in additional equipment that will increase the company’s capacity for recycling massive, decommissioned Navy vessels.
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