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Borderlands: DHL Express launches Hong Kong-Mexico service; candy factory opening on border

DHL Express opened a Hong Kong-Los Angeles-Guadalajara-Mexico flight to handle more cross-border shipments. (Photo: DHL)

Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: DHL Express launches Hong Kong to Mexico service; new candy factory opening on the border; Texas port sending liquid C02 to Mexico; CBP seizes $4 million in drugs at Texas port.

DHL Express Mexico begins new international cargo flight

DHL Express Mexico (OTCMKTS: DPSGY) recently launched a Hong Kong-Los Angeles-Guadalajara-Mexico City route.

DHL officials said the six-day-a-week flight will increase cargo capacity between Asia and Mexico by 50 tons per flight, adding more than 20% of capacity to its daily operation.

“We are launching this flight because we believe there will be a very strong need for capacity in the coming months,” said Antonio Arranz, CEO of DHL Express Mexico, in a release. “In 2021 the theme, the challenge in logistics, will be capacity, and we are preparing for it.”

Arranz said the new flight will also help reduce transport times of goods from Asia to North America by avoiding a stopover at the DHL Express Americas Hub (Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport). 

Cargo from Asia would stop in Cincinnati, then be dispersed on evening flights to Guadalajara and Mexico City. The new flight allows cargo from Hong Kong to connect in Los Angeles, to Guadalajara and finish in Mexico City on the same day.

The new route will also reduce delivery times to the Mexican cities of Tepic, Guadalajara and Colima.

A 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighter will be used for the flight, with a range of 3,000 nautical miles and maximum takeoff weight of 412,000 pounds.

The addition of this new flight is part of a series of investments and improvements to DHL Express Mexico’s infrastructure that the company has carried out during the first half of 2020, which also includes the addition of more than 1,000 new jobs. 

“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,” according to a DHL Express officials.

DHL Express is the air and ground express unit of German transport and logistics giant Deutsche Post DHL.

DHL Express announced on Friday it was raising its U.S. rates for 2021. The new U.S. rate will be 4.9%, effective Jan. 1. The company will provide additional rate details, including any add-on fees known in the parcel-delivery trade as “accessorials,” no later than mid-October, according to a release.

The rate increases are for tariff, or published, rates. Contract rates will differ depending on the specific customer.

Mount Franklin Foods opens candy factory on border

An El Paso, Texas-based confectionery manufacturer is opening a state-of-the-art facility in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

Mount Franklin Foods’ 220,000-square-foot candy factory will be in San Jeronimo — a port of entry in Chihuahua across the border from Santa Teresa, New Mexico.

Mount Franklin Foods new factory in Mexico will create 300 jobs. (Image: Mount Franklin Foods)

The new facility will create 300 jobs when the plant becomes fully operational by the end of 2021. The factory will provide additional production capacity for soft candy items, such as gummies and jellies.

Mount Franklin, which was founded in 1907, manufactures a variety of candy and nut products for the retail and food industries. The company operates seven manufacturing facilities and three distribution centers across North America.

Texas port sending liquid C02 to Mexico

Port Freeport recently announced a new partnership between Cemex Inc. (NYSE: CX) and Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) to transport liquid carbon dioxide (C02) from the port to customers in Mexico.

Port Freeport is a major deep-water seaport located in Freeport, Texas. It is located around an hour south of Houston on the Gulf of Mexico.

According to a release, Cemex will transload the liquid C02 from tanker trucks into rail cars while Union Pacific arranges the transport of the loaded cars to their destination in Mexico.

The liquid C02 will then be converted into its naturally occurring gaseous state and used in various applications, including the manufacturing of carbonated beverages. 

“Port Freeport’s recent investment in new rail infrastructure on parcel 14 has garnered the attention of many multinational companies,” said Phyllis Saathoff, the port’s executive director and CEO. “Cemex’s partnership with Port Freeport represents our expanded export capabilities and will further develop the port’s relationship with our neighbors in Mexico.”

Cemex is a Mexican multinational building materials company headquartered near Monterrey, Mexico. 

CBP seizes $4 million in drugs at Texas port

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently stopped a shipment of cocaine and methamphetamine at the Hidalgo port of entry in Pharr, Texas.

The incident occurred Tuesday, when a tractor-trailer hauling fresh produce from Mexico arrived in the cargo facility at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge. Officers found 200 packages of alleged cocaine and 61 packages of alleged methamphetamine hidden in the trailer’s floor. The drugs have a street value of $4.04 million.

Customs and Border Protection officers found 356 pounds of narcotics in a tractor-trailer from Mexico. (Photo: CBP)

CBP seized the narcotics and tractor-trailer. The driver was arrested and the case was turned over to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations.

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]