Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: DHL Express invests $53 million in Mexico fleet expansion; $7M in cocaine seized in Laredo; Mexico authorizes new commercial seaport in Sinaloa; Transmute raises $2 million in seed funding.
DHL Express Mexico buys 1,500 new vehicles for $53 million
DHL Express Mexico (OTCMKTS: DPSGY) recently announced it has acquired 1,500 new vehicles aimed at capitalizing on a coronavirus-led boom in e-commerce sales.
DHL Express spent $53 million to acquire the vehicles, its largest one-time fleet transaction in the country, according to Antonio Arranz, CEO of DHL Express Mexico.
“We are very happy to announce this historic investment of more than $53 million in the fleet, which increases the ground fleet to around 5,000 units,” Arranz said in a release. “It affirms our commitment to Mexico and the reactivation of industries across the country.”
The new vehicles acquired by Mexico City-based DHL Express Mexico include small, midsize and large commercial vans, medium trucks and operational cars.
Most of the new vehicles are from the Ford Motor Co. Arranz said 80% of the new units are already part of the fleet and he expects the rest to be added in November.
The DHL Express network in Mexico includes:
- 63 total facilities.
- five high-volume transfer centers hubs in Mexico City, Mexico state, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Querétaro.
- five exchange centers in Mazatlan, Minatitlan, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas and Sinaloa.
- six international gateway customs facilities in Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Merida, Hermosillo and Querétaro.
- 3,702 messengers.
- 12 dedicated national flights and 10 international flights.
- More than 2,700 land routes.
DHL Express Mexico also recently launched a six-day-a-week Hong Kong-Los Angeles-Guadalajara-Mexico City flight. The new route will increase cargo capacity between Asia and Mexico by 50 tons per flight, adding more than 20% of capacity to its daily operation, officials said.
DHL officials said the expansion of land and air cargo services across Mexico is part of a push to gain more market share of shipments from online retailers such as Amazon, Walmart and Mercado Libre.
“A lot of these recent investments come as result of an increase in volume due to e-commerce and B2C shipments, especially during this pandemic and ahead of this year’s holiday peak season,” DHL Express officials said.
Laredo CBP intercepts nearly $7 million in cocaine from Mexico
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Laredo, Texas, seized $6.97 million of alleged cocaine in two different drug busts on the same day, officials said.
The first Oct. 16 incident occurred at Laredo’s World Trade Bridge when officers searched a tractor-trailer hauling a shipment of aluminum scrap from Mexico. Agents discovered 135 packages containing 337 pounds of alleged cocaine in the shipment.
The second case also occurred at World Trade Bridge on the same day when officers encountered another tractor-trailer from Mexico hauling a shipment of aluminum scrap. Officers found 223 packages containing a total of 567 pounds of alleged cocaine within the shipment.
CBP seized the narcotics and turned over the cases to Homeland Security Investigations
Mexico authorizes new commercial seaport in Sinaloa
The Mexican government recently authorized a new cabotage port in the town of La Reforma in Sinaloa state. The new coastal port will be located along the Sea of Cortez in northwestern Mexico.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signed a bill on Wednesday establishing La Reforma as the 101st cabotage port in Mexico.
The bill did not provide details on any planned upgrades to La Reforma or a budget to expand its infrastructure. Obrador’s bill stated the “new port will trigger productive activities related to coastal shipping, fishing and tourism, as well as accelerate the development in the region.”
The town of La Reforma is a fishing village in the municipality of Angostura. It has a current population of 6,743 residents, according to Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transportation.
The state of Sinaloa already has two seaports, Topolobampo and Mazatlán. La Reforma will fall under the jurisdiction of the port authority in Topolobampo.
The Sea of Cortez, also known as the Gulf of California, is a 700-mile-long body of water separating mainland Mexico from the Mexican state of Baja California.
Blockchain startup Transmute raises $2 million in seed funding
Transmute, an Austin, Texas-based data exchange platform for global trade, recently closed a $2 million seed funding round.
Transmute plans to use the funding to expand its team and services, company officials said.
“When it comes to commercial importers, new trade regulations combined with antiquated processes are making compliance a huge burden,” Karyl Fowler, co-founder and CEO of Transmute, said in a release. “At the exact same moment, the market is demanding increasing evidence that products are what they say they are and are created how they said they were — whether ethically, sustainably or otherwise.”
Transmute, founded in 2017, secures supplier, product and shipment data aimed at giving customers an edge in the global marketplace.
The funding round was led by Moonshots Capital, with participation from TMV and Kerr Tech Investments. In conjunction with the funding, Kelly Perdew, general partner at Moonshots Capital, will join Transmute’s board of directors.
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