Constantly operating behind the scenes is Dallas’s Inland Port, a sprawl of distribution centers next to Interstates 20, 45, and 30. In the 1990s, local developer Mike Rader set his sights upon a hub in southern Dallas capable of connecting freight and trucking companies. Over 30 years later, a new motion has been set forth to unite all the independent shipping companies under one Inland Port of Dallas government.
Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price has been at the forefront of the push to create more oversight for the port. As reported by The Dallas Morning News, Price wanted to make the Inland Port of Dallas more efficient and increase outreach through marketing. “I want branding on the overpasses, branding on the bridges, and let people know this is the inland port,” he states.
With nearly 30,000 employees, the Inland Port of Dallas prides itself on being one of the fastest-growing distribution hubs, attracting names such as FedEx and Amazon. Though still independent, companies were connected with the creation of the Inland Port Transportation Management Association in 2019, headed by Executive Director Laura Freeland.
Freeland supports the push for a central port government, telling The Dallas Morning News that more supervision could help resolve problems quicker. Freeland noted that she was not aware of a shipping chassis shortage at the port until it created delays. If there was more united oversight, Freeland added, “They would know this ahead of time, see it coming, and maybe do something.”
Dallas County Commissioners discussed the port government on June 7 and are expected to vote on the proposal soon. If approved, nine individuals will be appointed to lead the port commission. The commission would then oversee construction, expansion, logistics, marketing, and many more aspects of the port’s operation.