Stephen Boecking, vice president of business development withAlliance developer Hillwood Development Co. LLC in Dallasacknowledges he was somewhat surprised by the rankings, whichreflect 2006 figures, the most recent analyzed. "This is the firsttime we've been ranked number one," he comments. "We don't have anocean. But the railroad is our ocean."

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He says outstanding rail service to Alliance, located north ofFort Worth, was one reason for the high flow of foreign goods intothe area. Additionally, "Alliance is a one-day truck drive to 48million Americans. We have intermodal rail, international air cargoservice and we're right on the Interstate 35-NAFTA highway,"Boecking tells GlobeSt.com.

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And that's only with Alliance 35% developed. "We intend tocontinue focusing on imports," Boecking says. "Imports are flattoday, but in the long run, over the next 15 years, the nationalforecast imports are scheduled to double or triple in the U.S."Alliance is in the perfect location to take advantage of the flow,he adds.

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Port of Houston Authority was ranked fourth on the list with itshandling of $2.1 billion of foreign goods. According to the Port'sweb site, Port of Houston handled 219.1 million tons in 2006. Portexperts predict that once the Panama Canal opens, the amount offoreign imports received is likely to double.

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Westport Economic Development Corp. came in fifth on the list,pulling in close to $1.2 billion of foreign goods. The city is anactive entry point from Mexico, where sister city Juarez is justacross the Rio Grande from El Paso.

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