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Behind allegations Mexican truckers are breaking US cabotage rules — Long-Haul Crime Log

Recent reports of drivers breaking terms of visas dredges up one of the most controversial issues in cross-border trucking

Mexico-based trucks are only supposed to handle cross-border loads. So what's behind allegations that some truckers with B-1 visas are doing domestic runs? (Photo: FreightWaves staff)

This week’s episode of FreightWaves’ true-crime podcast, Long-Haul Crime Log, investigates one of the most controversial issues in cross-border trucking: cabotage violations. In the U.S., these occur when truckers based in Mexico or Canada illegally transport domestic freight. 

Co-host and FreightWaves reporter Noi Mahoney digs into recent allegations that truckers from Mexico are doing illegal runs within the U.S. and why it may be hurting the industry on both sides of the border.

Mexican truck drivers with B-1 business visas are allowed to move cross-border freight. Sources in the trucking industry told Mahoney that some are moving domestic freight, illegally, at substantially lower rates than their U.S. counterparts.

Beyond the recent allegations, the episode explores the thorny issue of cabotage and long-standing fears about Mexican and Canadian drivers illegally moving U.S. domestic freight. 

Fellow reporters Clarissa Hawes and Nate Tabak co-host the episode with Mahoney.

Sources: Mexican B-1 visa truckers conducting illegal runs in US
Can foreign-based trucks haul domestic US freight?

About the podcast

Long-Haul Crime Log is a true-crime podcast that explores the dark side of the trucking industry.

Reach out at [email protected] or find us on Twitter @LongHaulCrime.

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  1. Stephen Webster

    Many large members of the C T A in n Canada with you offshore foreign student truck drivers doing this. A minimum wage on U S soil of $21.00 U S per hour plus medical is needed. Right now rates are high enough. Amazon and Walmart hire these trucks. We should fine the shipping companies that use them. Experienced truck drivers can get other jobs paying better money than driving a truck.

  2. Tim Manor

    Canadian drivers have been doing this for years. But no one seems to care. I’ve lost more freight to Canadian freight companies . To hard to compete with a mega carrier out of Canada being a sole owner operator.

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected].