Plastics On The Move

The eighth largest industry in the U.S. continues to grow as demand for plastics in construction, automotive, and electrical/electronics markets expands.

By BF Staff
From the July/August 2022 Issue

Although the U.S. manufacturing sector continues to grapple with supply chain issues, 2021 was looking to be a banner year for plastics machinery, according to a 2021 article by Perc Pineda, Ph.D., Chief Economist for the Plastics Industry Association. In his article, which appears on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce website, Pineda writes, “Data shows that plastics machinery imports have stayed stable in 2021 as equipment suppliers continue to service robust demand. In October, plastics machinery imports totaled $305.5 million—a 15.0% increase from a year earlier. While imports could slow in November and December, the likely scenario is from plastics machinery imports to increase 13.2% from 2020.”

In 2022, the Plastics Industry Association reported that the global plastic market size was valued at USD593 billion in 2021. It is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% from 2022 to 2030. The increasing plastic consumption in the construction, automotive, and electrical/electronics industries is projected to support market growth during the forecast period. According to the associations, regulations to decrease gross vehicle weight to improve fuel efficiency and eventually reduce carbon emissions are driving plastic consumption as a substitute for metals, including aluminum and steel, for manufacturing automotive components.

Plastics Industry
(Photo: Adobe Stock By hedgehog94)

The plastics industry is the eighth largest industry in the United States, with 15,688 establishments excluding those who produce captive plastic products or supply goods and services to the plastics industry.

According to the Plastics Industry Association, full employment impact of the industry was 1.55 million in 2020. This total includes 945,300 industry jobs, plus just over 600,000 jobs in upstream industries. The U.S. state with most employees in the plastics industry is Texas, according to the association. The group recently reported there were 70,500 people working in that industry in the Lone Star State in 2020.

The manufacture, storage, and shipment of plastics products relies on many factors, an important one being a company’s location. Access to supply chain, as well as a transportation infrastructure to send those products to market is essential. Industrial parks may be just the right setting for plastics companies to flourish.

Plastics Businesses Flourish At TGS Cedar Port Industrial Park

Located near Houston, TX, TGS Cedar Port Industrial Park (TGSCP) is the largest master-planned rail-and-barge-served industrial park in the United States. TGSCP spans 15,000 acres, with over 11,000 acres available for development. The park is an ideal location for light or heavy industrial use, manufacturing of all types, and warehouse/distribution operations.

Plastics Industry
TGS Cedar Port Industrial Park in Baytown, TX has more than 11,000 acres available for sale, lease, build-to-suit, and design build. (Photo: TGS Cedar Port)

TGSCP is dual served by Union Pacific and BNSF Railroad, and it has the capacity to store approximately 4,500 railcars. There are four plastic resin focused companies in TGSCP, including Ravago Americas, Vinmar International, PBP, and Plastic Express. There is approximately three million square feet of warehouse capacity among these four companies’ facilities, with two additional 1.2 million square feet of warehouse capacity under construction.

In addition to supporting the plastic resin packaging customers, TGSCP serves the plastic resin production market through its rail services. TGSCP has taken the Operation Clean Sweep Pledge, demonstrating its commitment to prevent plastic resin loss. TGSCP has added optical recognition software to help identify railcar defects upon receipt. It provides various railcar services to customers, including storage- in-transit, railcar cleaning and repair, and transloading.

TGSCP’s storage-in-transit capacity is approximately 4,500 railcars daily, and it interchanges approximately 50,000 railcars per year. The commitment to service is measured daily with various key performance indicators to ensure the highest level of service in receipt and delivery of railcars for both TGSCP park tenants and third-party storage customers. TGSCP strives to foster greater working relationships with Union Pacific and BNSF Railroad.

TGSCP is ideally located in Baytown, TX in Chambers County, approximately 10 miles from Mont Belvieu, TX and the Houston Ship Channel, approximately 60 miles from Beaumont, TX and Freeport, TX, and approximately 100 miles to Lake Charles, LA. This location places TGSCP in the center of the plastic resin production market along the U.S. Gulf Coast, with very close proximity to the largest plastic resin export port in the United States.

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TGSCP’s location is also an approximate 15-minute drive to Port Houston’s Barbours Cut and Bayport container terminals. The location allows its customer base to efficiently transport export containers to Port Houston to supply plastic to the international markets.

TGSCP is one of the fastest growing industrial parks in North America with over 25 million square feet of industrial and manufacturing warehouses that are either existing or under construction. Sites are delivered “turn-key,” fully entitled with utilities, drainage, and detention. TGSCP has a master planned drainage network, sits on a high elevation above sea level, and it is served by a large industrial electrical transmission network.

Trans-Global Solutions, Inc. (TGS) formed a partnership that purchased TGS Cedar Port Industrial Park in December 2014. TGS has offices located in Beaumont and Houston, TX, and is a leading provider of transportation, comprehensive railroad, and heavy civil construction services. Their diverse capabilities include terminal development and operations, engineering and design, earthwork and new construction, track inspection, maintenance, 3rd party switching, locomotive leasing, rail car storage, cleaning, and repair.

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