Port of Freeport, Texas
The Port of Freeport, Texas serves the city of Freeport and is located sixty-five miles south of Houston, Texas in Brazoria County. It is a deepwater port with a channel depth of 45 feet, although there are plans in the pipeline to widen the channel and increase the depth to 55 feet.
It is easily accessible by railroad and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. It can also be accessed via Highway 36 and Highway 288. It has 1,400 acres of land available for development, with all areas accessible to transport by water, rail or road.
Freeport handles a wide range of goods. The top ten exports include crude oil, petroleum gas, chemicals, plastics, epoxides and other petrochemical products including polymers, halogenated compounds, phenols, and polyethers. Main imports include motor vehicles, gasoline, ammonia, machinery, and equipment. While exports have witnessed a phenomenal growth of over 106%, imports are slightly down on 2016.
Foreign Trade Zone
This port serves a Foreign Trade Zone which covers the entire counties of Brazoria and Fort Bend. This is a vast area where businesses can operate to defer their customs duties.
In 2014, businesses benefitted from this program by saving over $1.4 million in duties. Among these companies that enjoy this benefit are Dow Chemicals, Phillips 66, Tenaris Global Services, DSM Nutritional Products and Axens North American Inc.
Port Freeport has the sophisticated infrastructure to handle various operations:
- Project cargo and breakbulk operations. It is recognized as a leading location for handling high volumes of project cargo.
- Container operations. Container throughput exceeded 125,000 TEUs in 2015 through a partnership with Mediterranean Shipping Company.
- Heavy lifting. Through a partnership with Mammoet which specializes in heavy lifting equipment, the port established a heavy lift terminal in 2013.
- Roll on/off operations. The port is equipped to handle roll on or off operations of any scale.
Port Freeport continues to expand, and the facility is investing billions of dollars in developing infrastructure to accommodate this growth.
Provisions for Worker Safety
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) is responsible for enforcing the statutory requirements and standards for general working conditions in the shipyard industry. These apply to land-based workers as well as those working on vessels.
Title 29 of the U.S.C. imposes strict requirements for employers to provide adequate lighting in all work areas to reduce the risk of injury to employees. This covers land-based workshops, machine shops, walkways, stairs and any work areas underground. All stairs and gangways on board vessels, as well as all work areas below deck, must have sufficient illumination.
Under the provisions of Title 29, the OSHA allows a port facility to make use of off-site emergency medical services instead of on-site first aid facilities. However, this is only permitted if the off-site service can reach the port within five minutes.
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