Rockport

Rockport Terminal

Jones Capital recently announced its acquisition of the 250-acre Rockport Terminals between Houston and Brownsville, Texas.

Rockport Terminals is strategically located within 28 miles of the fast growing Port of Corpus Christi, but outside of the Port's tariff zone,the Houston and Hattiesburg-based company said in a release.

Rockport Terminals boasts access to the Intracoastal Waterway, nearby railways, and many major highways. The terminal specializes in bulk liquids storage, bulk and break bulk, and bulk liquids product handling.

But Jones Capital seems to be headed uptstream in an industry headed downstream.

President Biden's strategy is to shift from oil-based to renewable power. He shelved the 1,200-mile Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office, Jan. 20.

The Mississippi Business Journal asked Jones Capital several times explain its reasoning to expand by buying the terminals, but was told only that it needed time to formulate an explanation.

Two of Jones Capital's companies recently took a big hit because of the Biden action.

Columbia-based Yak Access installs temporary roads made of hardwood mats to allow heavy machinery to traverse otherwise inaccessible locales.

Yak Access employs about 200 in Mississippi and 800 to 900 across the nation.

Jonathan Duhon, president of Yak Access, said the shelving of he project is having a “pretty big cascading effect” in Mississippi.

That impact also has struck Jones Lumber, another Jones Capital company, which makes the hardwood mats.

Arnie Hogue, president of Jones Lumber, said in an interview for an earlier article that the company has 150 employees total in its Hazlehurst and Natchez operations.

He would not put a number on the impact of the shelving of the project, though he said that the outlook for mats production did “not look promising” for the second half of this year.

He said that Jones Lumber shut down its operation at Bay Springs last May, primarily due to the impact of the covid-19 pandemic-caused slowdown of the economy, which prompted large oil companies to cutback on their expenditures.

Named to oversee the intermodal Rockport Terminals is Ross Stevenson, whose background includes most recently with Phillips 66.

“With Jones' support,” Stevenson said in the release, “we have kicked off a multiple-year capital improvement plan . . . including two news liquids and break bulk docks, additional lay down yard and logistical improvements.”

Tom Caughlin, president and chief investment officer, said in the release: “With Jones' history of success in transportation and logistics, we feel equipped to help launch Rockport into a new era of growth.”

Jones' portfolio also includes Jones Logistics of Hattiesburg and Volume Freight of Columbus, plus Jones Pipeline.

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