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Borderlands: FedEx Logistics expands in El Paso; Stanley Black and Decker picks Mexico for new plant

FedEx Logistics adds Foreign Trade Zone in El Paso

FedEx Logistics is expanding its footprint of Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ) with a new location in El Paso, Texas.

The site is the latest FTZ facility to be opened by FedEx Logistics, adding to existing locations in Los Angeles, New York, Dallas and Chicago. FedEx Logistics is a subsidiary of Memphis, Tennessee-based FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX).

The new FTZ in El Paso will be used to streamline the transportation of international raw materials and components for clients, said FedEx Logistics spokesman James Calderwood.

“Since the new FTZ location borders the U.S. and Mexico, there are a variety of industries that would benefit from it. We are open as a public utility and will handle all merchandise with the exception of prohibited items,” Calderwood said.

The new FedEx Logistics FTZ is part of El Paso’s Foreign Trade Zone No. 68, which is operated by the city. David Panko, who manages FTZ No. 68, said ultimately FTZs can help companies that import and export products save money. 

“In 1934, the U.S. government created this program called the Foreign Trade Zone pact, to make U.S. businesses more competitive globally. What that did was say, look, if you manufacture in this FTZ, [the U.S. government] is not going to charge you a duty to bring that stuff in,” Panko said. “When you bring it out, if you export it through the FTZ, there’s still no duties. That created a lot of U.S. jobs.”

Panko said it made the FTZ designation useful for companies like automakers and other manufacturers.

“Then at the same time, if you’re into distribution, you can bring stuff in from another country, land it in El Paso, in the Foreign Trade Zone, pay no duties, and then move it to Mexico to Brazil to Canada, or other countries and still pay no duties,” Panko said.

El Paso’s Foreign Trade Zone No. 68 has products from more than 50 countries going through the zone, accounting for “about $6 billion in and $6 billion out [annually] of the FTZ, handling about 8% of the entire El Paso border volume,” Panko said. 

Automotive parts, medical devices, electronics and electrical components represent the majority of goods passing through El Paso FTZ No. 68.

“We’re right next door to the maquiladoras in Juarez, which is where a lot of the goods come from,” Panko said. 

The new FedEx Logistics Foreign Trade Zone is around 21 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.

The FedEx facility has 100,000 square-feet of distribution space, 1,000 feet of bonded warehouse space and 4,000 feet of Foreign Trade Zone space. There are 14 dock doors and two drive-up ramps. Around 15 people currently work at the El Paso FTZ facility.

In El Paso, there are two FTZs, as well as another in nearby Santa Teresa, New Mexico. There are 38 FTZs in Texas, twice as many as in any other state. Other major FTZs in Texas include Port Houston and the Port of Brownsville. 

Foreign Trade Zone No. 68, which covers the entire city of El Paso, generates around 1,000 direct jobs and 2,000 indirect jobs, Panko said. 

“We have around 25 clients, I’ve got another eight clients in the queue coming on, we project another 30% growth when the new clients come on,” Panko said. “We have around a dozen freight forwarders/logistics companies that represent about 85 companies that use the FTZ.”

Stanley Black and Decker picks Mexico for new plant

Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK) recently announced plans for a new $40 million manufacturing plant near Monterrey, Mexico.

The 505,000 square-foot plant will be in the Mexican state of Nuevo León, at the CPA Technology Park in Apodaca, part of the Monterrey metropolitan area. Monterrey is around 140 miles south of Laredo, Texas.

The plant will initially create 2,000 jobs, plus an additional 500 jobs by the end of 2021. The company is expected to start production in the first quarter of next year.

Company officials said they will manufacture a full range of power tools and battery packs, including drills, saws, locks and screwdrivers, at the factory.

Karen Barraza, who will be the manager of the new Stanley Black and Decker plant, said the site was chosen because of its proximity to the United States.

“Nuevo León was chosen because it is closer to [the United States and Canada], who make up the main base of our clients, as well as the talent of their workforce and the reputation they have for the ease of doing business,” Barraza said during a press conference, according to news outlet MexicoIndustry.

Stanley Black & Decker is based in New Britain, Connecticut. The company, which employs more than 60,000 people worldwide, owns dozens of brands, including Lenox, Craftsman, Irwin Tools, DeWALT and CribMaster.

China’s Sunmetal Products Inc. also recently announced it will build a $20 million export factory in the Mexican city of San Luis Potosí. The new plant will create 150 jobs initially and could reach as many as 800 jobs by the end of 2021. The company produces brakes and and locks for commercial trucks and trailers. 

Grupo TMM appoints Vanessa Serrano Cuevas as its new CEO

Mexican shipping and logistics company Grupo TMM (OTCMKTS: GTMAY) recently appointed Vanessa Serrano Cuevas as its new chief executive officer, according to a release.

Serrano Cuevas steps up from the role of vice president in charge of Grupo TMM’s energy division.

“We are confident that her leadership abilities will contribute not only to the creation of new alliances and business partnerships, but also to consolidate the projects that we have been developing at Grupo TMM,” said José Serrano Segovia, chairman of Grupo TMM.

Vanessa Serrano Cuevas

Vanessa Serrano Cuevas is the daughter of José Serrano Segovia. She graduated with a master of business administration with an emphasis in corporate governance from Pan-American University in Mexico City.  

Grupo TMM, founded in 1955, provides maritime, logistics and warehousing services, as well as ports and terminal management. The company currently operates 36 vessels, including 24 offshore vessels, four product tankers, two parcel tankers and six tugboats.

Serrano assumes leadership of the company at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has declined its shipping business. Grupo TMM’s consolidated revenue for the second quarter of 2020 was $12.79 million, compared to $16.98 million reported in the same period of 2019.

CBP officers seize $4 million worth of narcotics

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Laredo, Texas, seized $4.2 million worth of methamphetamine in two recent incidents.

Agents recently seized 179 pounds of meth in Laredo. (Photo: CBP)

The first seizure occurred at the World Trade Bridge in Laredo on Aug. 26. CBP officers assigned to the cargo facility found 32 packages containing over 80 pounds of alleged methamphetamine in a shipment of steel wire from Mexico. The narcotics have an estimated street value of $1.7 million.

The second narcotics interception happened Aug. 27 when officers searched a tractor-trailer from Mexico manifesting a shipment of freezers. The agents found seven packages containing 179.89 pounds of alleged methamphetamine in the shipment. The narcotics have an estimated street value of $2.5 million.

The cases were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-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