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Borderlands: Mexico averages 58 cargo thefts a day in Q2

Overhaul says one of the most dangerous routes for transporters in Mexico is the Arco Norte Highway near Mexico City, where a truck driver was recently killed by an organized gang. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Mexico averaged 58 cargo thefts a day in the second quarter; APM Terminals invests $140 million to expand a facility at a Mexico seaport; XPO adds capacity at a Texas facility; and Jaguar Transport Holdings will operate a Dallas transload facility.

Mexico averages 58 cargo thefts a day in Q2

Trucks haulings food and beverage products and building materials topped the list of goods being targeted by freight thieves in Mexico during the second quarter, according to a new report from Overhaul.

The Austin, Texas-based supply chain visibility firm recorded 5,178 cargo theft incidents in April, May and June, a 6% year-over-year increase compared to the same period in 2022 and a 2% increase compared to the first quarter.

“The central region [of Mexico] remained the region with the highest proportion of cargo theft (62%), while the northwest and western regions experienced an increase of 1% each,” Overhaul said. “Although criminal activity continued to be clustered on workdays, the months of April, May, and June saw a growth in thefts conducted during the night, from 6 p.m. to midnight.”

The monthly average for cargo thefts in Mexico during the second quarter was 1,726, about 58 incidents every day.

In comparison, Overhaul reported a total of 240 cargo thefts that occurred across the U.S. in the first six months of 2023. The states with the highest rates of theft were California, Texas and Georgia, with an average of loss of $360,000.


In Mexico, the most common type of cargo theft in the second quarter involved stealing entire loads from trucks (35%), followed by pilferage of products from trucks (31%), deceptive pickups (23%), facility theft (4%), theft from last-mile couriers (4%) and hijacking trucks (3%).

The most stolen goods in the quarter were food and beverage products (30%), building materials (12%), home and garden supplies (7%), metals (6%), auto parts (4%), alcoholic beverages (4%) and pharmaceuticals (3%).

Although the percentage of cargo thefts with violence remained the same during the first and second quarters of 2023, the level of violence used by criminals to commit the crimes escalated. 

“The number of thefts with violence in the second quarter … retained the same proportion as in the first quarter, 82%,” Overhaul said. “Criminal groups are expanding their areas of action while increasing the number and specialization of people dedicated to cargo theft.”

The company said one of the most dangerous routes for truck drivers in Mexico was the Arco Norte Highway, a roadway on the northern outskirts of Mexico City.

“The Arco Norte highway was one of the five highways with the highest rate of thefts

recorded by Overhaul in the first half of 2023,” Overhaul said. “At least six drivers were injured in thefts along the Arco Norte, two by firearms and four by severe beatings. Additionally, at least one operator died as a direct result of criminal groups operating on this highway.”

Overhaul said law enforcement, as well as shippers, carriers and cross-border trade stakeholders, need to cooperate in order to combat cargo theft on the roadways.

“The effectiveness of security measures depends on the full cooperation and participation of all the parties implicated in the supply chain, which is not only limited to shipping lines, drivers, yard personnel and freight owners,” Overhaul said. “It demands a prevention and safety awareness culture in which the parties involved are aware of and respect the safety strategies implemented before, during and at the end of the route.” 

APM Terminals invests $140M to expand facility at Mexico seaport

APM Terminals recently announced a $140 million investment to increase capacity to its container facility at Mexico’s Port of Lazaro Cardenas.

APM Terminals Lazaro Cardenas said the project will increase the capacity of the first semi-automated facility in Latin America, with an additional 1 million twenty-foot equivalent units to position it as a hub for the Americas region.

APM Terminals is expanding its container facility at the Port of Lazaro Cardenas to position it as a hub for the Americas. (Photo: APM Terminals)

The Port of Lazaro Cardenas is a deepwater container facility located along the country’s Pacific coast, about 386 miles west of Mexico City.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 2026 and will allow the terminal to handle an annual throughput capacity of 2.2 million TEUs. 

The expansion also includes six automated rail-mounted gantry cranes, 14 new shuttle carriers and four empty handlers. 

APM Terminals, a division of A.P. Moller-Maersk, operates facilities in 65 locations around the world.

XPO adds capacity at Texas facility

Less-than-truckload carrier XPO recently completed an expansion of its service center in Garland, Texas.

XPO added 58 dock doors to the facility, located in the Dallas metro area. The expansion is part of the company’s plan to grow capacity by adding 900 new doors to its service centers across the country by the first quarter of 2024.

The Garland service center currently employs more than 100 people. With the expansion, XPO plans to hire additional dockworkers and driver sales representatives. XPO employs nearly 2,300 people across Texas.

Greenwich, Connecticut-based XPO (NYSE: XPO) is one of the largest providers of asset-based less-than-truckload transportation in North America. The company serves more than 49,000 customers with 562 locations and 37,000 employees. 

Jaguar Transport Holdings to operate Dallas transload facility

Jaguar Transport Holdings has entered into an agreement with Union Pacific subsidiary Loup Logistics to operate the Dallas Transload Solution facility, located southeast of downtown Dallas near Interstate 45.

The 7-acre facility connects with a Union Pacific line and is equipped with three transload tracks, truck scales, covered storage areas and other outdoor laydown space.

Dallas Transload — which mostly transports steel and lumber — provides rail service for customers that want the efficiencies of using rail but lack a physical site located on a railroad, Jaguar Transport officials said in a news release.

Joplin, Missouri-based Jaguar Transport Holdings is a transportation and logistics company operating eight short line railroads and multiple other rail-served sites across the U.S.

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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 Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]