Harlingen: Easy Access with Quality Infrastructure

Harlingen is truly the "Crossroads of the Rio Grande Valley." Its crossroads encompass every mode of transportation: air, rail, highway and waterway.

Whether it is personal travel or importing and exporting goods and equipment, is much easier when there are plenty of options. Water access from the Port of Harlingen, personal and commercial air service from the Valley International Airport and the NAFTA CargoPort hub, or direct rail service with the Union Pacific Railroad makes the transportation for business or pleasure in Harlingen a breeze.

3 Main Highways

Perhaps the most well-known expressway in the Rio Grande Valley is I-2 (formerly US 83). It extends well beyond the western county of Starr County, all the way eastward to the southern tip of Brownsville, TX into Mexico.

Intersecting with I-2 in McAllen, TX is I-69C (formerly US 281), which runs throughout Hidalgo County and turns into Business 281 southward of McAllen and eastward into Cameron County.

I-69E (formerly US 77) begins in southern Cameron County and heads northbound through I-2, cutting through Harlingen and exiting the Rio Grande Valley through Raymondville, TX in Willacy County.

Construction of area highways are under way as the area continues to expand - and Harlingen is in a great location to easily gain access to neighboring cities through the Rio Grande Valley's great highways.

Highway Bridges

The Texas counties of Cameron and Hidalgo are not listed on the National Bridge Inventory identifying bridges that have been rated in serious or critical condition, or in danger of imminent collapse.

Air Cargo Hub and International Airport

Harlingen is home to the largest international airport in the Rio Grande Valley. Valley International Airport, also known as Rio Grande Valley International Airport, has nearly 1 million passengers and visitors walk through its terminal. Development of the NAFTA CargoPort ™ has the world's most successful cargo carriers using VIA as an air cargo hub.

Serviced by some of the world's most successful cargo carriers - Federal Express, Southwest Air Cargo, DB Schenker, DHL and Continental Airlines Cargo - Harlingen's NAFTA CargoPort ™ has aligned the airport to be the air cargo hub of the Rio Grande Valley.

Valley International Airport: Commercial Air Service

Valley International Airport (VIA) in Harlingen is the largest airport with the longest runways in the Rio Grande Valley. VIA is served by four airlines - Southwest Airlines, Continental Express, Delta and Sun Country Airlines.Valley International Airport is classified a small hub airport.

Airlines Flights
Southwest nonstop service to Houston/Hobby and Austin
United Airlines nonstop service to Houston/Intercontinental
American Airlines nonstop service to Dallas/Ft. Worth
Frontier Airlines nonstop service to Chicago/O'Hare and Denver
Delta Air Lines nonstop service to Minneapolis (seasonal Dec-Apr)
Sun Country Airlines nonstop service to Minneapolis (season Nov-Apr)
Source: Valley International Airport

The Valley International Airport has 3 runways. Two of those are parallel runways with enough separation (3,275 feet) allowing for simultaneous commercial operation. Runway 17R is equipped with ILS (CAT I) and is scheduled for extension to 10,000 feet.

Runway Length Width
17R - 35L 8,300' 150'
17L - 35L 5,950' 150'
13 - 31 7,256' 150'

There are 6 taxiways. Their width varies between 75 and 150 feet. There is a control tower that operates between 6 a.m. and midnight. The 144,000 square feet terminal has 7 gates equipped with 5 telescopic jet ways.

Direct Rail Access Keeps Cargo Flowing Through Harlingen

Union Pacific Railroad has a local terminal and switching yard in Harlingen. The Harlingen Industrial Park and Port of Harlingen have direct rail access.

Union Pacific Railroad serves the area in Harlingen. Rio Valley Switching Company (RVSC) operates the switching yard. RVSC operates freight service from a connection with UP at Harlingen to a connection with Border Pacific Railroad at Mission, TX (41 miles). A branch runs from Mission to Hidalgo, TX (8.1 miles). A second branch runs from McAllen to Edinburg, TX (12.8 miles).

Motor Freight Carriers with Local Terminals

FedEx National LTL
Harlingen, TX
(956) 421-2328

C C Western Inc.
306 Hanmore Industrial Pkwy.
Harlingen, TX
(956) 412-4934

C C Southern Inc.
306 Hanmore Industrial Pkwy.
Harlingen, TX
(956) 412-4934

Con-Way Freight-Southern
429 N O St.
Harlingen, TX
(956) 425-8303

FedEx Freight
2701 N Expressway 77
Harlingen TX
(956) 428-0040

Bulldog Express Inc.
1218 Morgan Blvd.
Harlingen, TX
(956) 423-5400

Southwestern Motor Transport
102 N T St.
Harlingen TX
(956) 423-2135

UPS Freight
602 W FM 800
Harlingen, TX
(956) 361-5660

Watkins Motor Lines
222 N T St.
Harlingen, TX
(956) 421-2328


The Port of Harlingen and Port of Brownsville provide an efficient way to ship packages out of the Rio Grande Valley. The ports are an important link in the transportation network of the Rio Grande Valley and are served by Union Pacific Railway.

Port of Harlingen

  • Provides efficient and economical transportation to points as close as Corpus Christi and as far as the Great Lakes.
  • Terminal docks and other facilities ease shipments into and out of the Port of Harlingen.
  • Sites up to 150 acres (on- and off-channel) are available for industrial firms requiring economical transportation and attractive land lease rates.
  • Located 4 miles east of Harlingen, on Highway 106 and 25 miles west of Mile Marker 646 on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, which stretches from the Mexican border at Brownsville, Texas, along the entire coast of the Gulf of Mexico to St. Marks, Florida.
  • Harlingen channel is maintained to a width of 125 feet and a depth of 12 feet (16 feet in the turning basin) and is supplied by the Arroyo Colorado, a fresh water river.
  • Services Available
    • Normal capacity of dry hopper barges are 1,500 to 12,000 short tons. Liquid barges carry between 24,000 and 28,000 barrels. Stevedoring services are available by various independent companies who can quote all inclusive costs for the service required.
    • Single and three phase power is available at standard, primary and secondary voltage.
    • A 4-inch main brings natural gas to the Port of Harlingen at approximately 200 pounds of pressure.
    •  The Port of Harlingen is served by the Harlingen Waterworks System. The Port has an elevated 200,000 gallon water tank to assure the Port tenants of adequate water quantity and pressure.
  • Facilities
    • 650 foot concrete general dry cargo wharf
    • 100 foot dry bulk wharf
    • 5 smaller docks (50' x 25') located near the turning basin and extending down the Harlingen channel
    • Up to 150 acres for open storage
    • On and off channel industrial sites up to 150 acres


Port of Brownsville

  • Services Available
    • Has operated as a deep water port since 1936.
    • Located 23 miles southeast of Harlingen via I-69E and I-2, and FM 511.
    • The Port is located at the end of a 17-mile long ship channel that meets the Gulf of Mexico at the Brazos Santiago Pass.
    • The Port’s man-made basin is 4,200 feet long and varies in width from 400 feet to 1,200 feet. Authorized depths range from 36 feet in the Turning Basin to 44 feet in the Entrance Channel.
    • Governed by the Brownsville Navigation District, which also owns all waterfront facilities at the Port.
    • Offers barge, rail and highway transportation linkages.
    • Owns 8 transit warehouses (440,000 square feet) and facilities for handling commodities and bulk liquids.
  • Facilities
    • 10 deep sea dry cargo docks (8 shedded)
    • 4 deep sea liquid cargo docks
    • 2 liquid cargo barge docks
    • 1 dry cargo barge dock
    • 450,000 square feet of open dockside aprons