Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: CBP seizes $8.4 million in marijuana bust; Texas port opens its first US-Mexico commercial FAST lane; Diligent Delivery Systems consolidates transportation-logistics operations; Unimacts acquires Tijuana manufacturing plant.
CBP seizes $8.4 million of marijuana smuggled in cargo shipment near San Diego
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers recently discovered 10 tons of marijuana hidden in a commercial cargo shipment at the Otay Mesa Cargo Port of Entry, according to a release.
Around 9 a.m. Nov. 18, a CBP officer who was inspecting trucks as they waited in line for inspection encountered a 47-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a tractor-trailer carrying a manifested shipment of “plastic garment hangers.”
The CBP officer referred the truck and shipment for an X-ray examination. During the exam, CBP officers identified an anomaly and sent the truck and shipment to the dock, opened the trailer and reportedly discovered plastic-wrapped packages containing marijuana stacked from floor to ceiling.
In total, officers found 858 packages containing more than 10 tons of marijuana worth an estimated street value of $8.4 million.
“The ability of CBP officers to interdict contraband at the port of entry is a perfect example of CBP’s efforts to secure our border,” Joseph Misenhelter, officer in charge at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, said in a release. “CBP officers prevented over 10 tons of marijuana from entering our community.”
CBP officers seized the tractor, trailer, cargo shipment and marijuana. CBP officers also canceled the driver’s B1/B2 visa and turned him over to Homeland Security Investigations agents for further processing.
Texas port of entry opens its first US-Mexico commercial FAST lane
The Eagle Pass Port of Entry in Texas recently opened its first designated Free And Secure Trade (FAST) lane at the Camino Real International Bridge on the U.S.-Mexico border.
“This new FAST lane is an excellent way to help facilitate legitimate trade between both Mexico and the United States,” Port Director Paul Del Rincón of the Brownsville Port of Entry said, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) release.
The new international FAST lane enables CBP to offer expedited clearance to carriers and importers that enrolled in the Customs-Trade Partnership against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and utilize FAST-approved commercial drivers to import qualifying goods.
Eagle Pass is a border city located 143 miles southwest of San Antonio. It has two international bridges, including the Camino Real International Bridge, which provides six lanes for commercial truck traffic into Piedras Negras, Eagle Pass’ sister across the border.
“Eagle Pass is an important component in international trade and we look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationship with stakeholders and support the local and national economy,” Rincón said.
The announcement was made Nov. 4 during opening hours for the cargo lane. Data from the WorldCity analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau has ranked Eagle Pass the fifth most important gateway for U.S.-Mexico trade. In 2018, 50% of all the U.S. beer imports entered through Eagle Pass, according to the CBP.
Eagle Pass also ranked second in the nation for tequila imports and ranked second nationally for imports of prepared and preserved avocados.
Houston-based Diligent Delivery Systems consolidates operations into 150,000-square-foot facility
Diligent Delivery Systems, a Houston-based transportation and delivery company, recently expanded to a 150,000-square-foot office and warehouse space.
The company previously managed its nationwide logistics network from three Houston locations housing separate corporate offices and freight and network services.
The new, streamlined 150,000-square-foot facility is inside Houston’s Beltway 8 at 9200 Derrington Road.
“The consolidation of Diligent’s Houston facilities enables our clients to utilize our full suite of transportation and delivery services, improving efficiency, collaboration and cost-effectiveness,” Diligent CEO Larry Browne said in a release.
Diligent Delivery Systems offers a variety of logistics services, including hot shot/express delivery, STAT medical delivery, dedicated driver and outsourced fleet management, warehousing, cross-dock and distribution network services, over-the-road trucking LTL and FTL services, white glove/final-mile delivery and domestic air freight and logistics consultations.
Solar tracker supplier Unimacts acquires Mexican manufacturing facility
Unimacts, a global industrial manufacturing services company, recently announced the completion of the acquisition of the Gonvarri manufacturing facility in Tijuana, Mexico.
Unimacts produces and distributes mechanical solar components and assemblies in more than 10 countries around the world. The acquisition of the Gonvarri factory in Mexico adds one more significant node in the Unimacts global supply network, officials said.
“The addition of this factory is a key element in Unimacts’ strategy of providing not just products but solutions to our customers in North America,” said Matthew Arnold, Unimacts president and CEO, in a release. “And now having a production facility in North America, Unimacts can use U.S. steel and provide short lead-time solutions.”
Arnold added, “This further enables Unimacts to deliver its ‘Megawatt in a Box’ solution for North American OEMs and developers.”
The acquisition allows Unimacts to produce tubes, piles and other solar components at the Tijuana factory — along with supply factories in China and India — and develop kits for delivery into Mexico, the U.S. and Canada, according to the release.