The Texas economy is one of the most robust in the world. Wildly profitable companies and ingenious entrepreneurs call this state home, and what happens here influences businesses around the nation. Here’s a slice of the profits, losses, big deals, and backroom decisions happening across
Port of Your World
This weekend marks the maiden voyage of the first Disney cruise ship to set sail from Galveston under a new deal that is “guaranteed to create a minimum of $2.4 million in gross revenue for the Port of Galveston,” the Houston Business Journal reports. At least twenty cruises will depart from the port per year under the two-year agreement with Disney Cruise Lines.
The Bottom Line: Princess Cruises and other lines are planning to expand their operations in Galveston, which is coming off its best summer tourism season in history.
A new federal report indicates that the fishing industry in the Gulf of Mexico is making a comeback from damages associated with the 2009 BP oil spill. Bloomberg reports “the total Gulf catch was 25 percent bigger last year than in 2009, 55 percent more than in 2010 and the largest since 1999.” The recovery comes not a moment too soon for the region’s fisheries, which “provided about a fifth of the seafood landed by U.S. fishermen” in 2011, according to the report.
The Bottom Line: Despite the encouraging findings, industry experts say that some species—including oysters, crabs and shrimp—haven’t yet returned to pre-spill levels, according to Bloomberg.
More to LUV
Southwest Airlines broke ground on a $100 million expansion of its headquarters in Dallas this week, a project that could allow the airline to add 1,000 employees to its local workforce, the Dallas Business Journal reports. The expansion will add nearly half a million square feet to the Love Field campus, which “will house 24-hour coordination and maintenance operations, customer support and services, and training.” Southwest expects to begin moving employees into the new facilities by 2014.
The Bottom Line: 2012 has been a major growth year for Southwest. The company’s operations will grow by 25 percent as a result of its acquisition of AirTran in May, according to the DBJ. And Southwest’s planned international terminal at Hobby Airport in Houston will extend its service area outside the U.S. for the first time.
Winner of the Week: Houston Energy Companies
Fox Business Network is touting Houston’s energy sector as an economic success story, broadcasting two shows from the city this week. Melissa Francis, host of Money with Melissa Francis, is reporting on energy issues with commentary from high-profile members of the city’s business community, including Kinder Morgan CEO Rich Kinder, BHP Billiton Petroleum CEO Mike Yeager and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. “Houston is a city that’s on fire, and I wanted to come down and show the rest of America why,” Francis told the Houston Chronicle.
Loser of the Week: Texas Trucking Companies
Texas trucking companies are struggling with high turnover rates as growing numbers of employees are leaving to seek out other jobs in the recovering economy. A new study by the Texas Trucking Industry finds that “turnover for large truckload fleets rose to 90 percent in the first quarter of this year while small truckload fleets saw turnovers increase to 71 percent,” according to the Houston Business Journal. The report recommends that companies offer better benefits, higher bonuses and more time at home.