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Borderlands: Mexico’s freight transport industry growing

The number of freight transportation companies in Mexico has increased 4.7 percent compared to the same period in 2018, according to recent data. Image: FreightWaves

Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Mexico’s transport industry grows; AIT Worldwide expands Mexico operations; Nuevo Laredo sees more border crossings; and Mexico freight forwarders unveil new maritime index.

Mexico’s freight transport industry continues to grow despite theft and fuel crises 

In the first four months of 2019, the number of freight transportation companies in Mexico increased 4.7 percent compared to the same period in 2018, according to recent data from Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT).

Mexico’s SCT registered a total of 154,306 cargo permits from January through April 2019, compared to 147,335 permits during the same period last year.

The permits included trucking companies with one to five trucks; companies with six to 30 trucks; medium-sized companies with 31 to 100 trucks; and firms with more than 100 trucks.

The SCT reported that the fastest growing trucking segment was medium-sized trucking firms (31 to 100 trucks), which grew by 7.4 percent compared to the same period in 2018. There are currently 3,256 medium-sized trucking firms in Mexico.

The second-fastest growing segment was carriers with more than 100 trucks. The SCT registered 1,066 carriers with more than 100 trucks for the first four months of 2019, a 7.2 percent increase compared to the same time last year.

While the freight transport industry continues to grow in Mexico, cargo theft and fuel shortages continue to be a problem, officials said.

“One of the main problems facing this industry is the constant theft suffered by units and the cargo they carry,” said Julián Gaxiola, general manager of GM Transport. “Land freight transport moves goods through the country and we are dependent on it up to 90 percent.”

Fuel theft, which had been rampant throughout Mexico in the early part of 2019, has decreased, but it continues to occur. 

In January 2019, Mexican media reported that up to 800 fuel trucks were stolen every day. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador recently said in a speech that number the number of fuel trucks stolen has decreased to 40 a day. 

AIT Worldwide Logistics opening new office at Mexico City Airport

AIT Worldwide Logistics recently announced the company is expanding with the opening of a new location at Mexico City International Airport.

According to a company release, the new AIT-Mexico City office will provide an array of logistics products, including trans-border expertise, warehousing, customs brokerage and IMMEX services, with a focus on air freight – particularly in the automotive, food logistics, technology and life sciences sectors.

“We’re eager to expand our reach and strengthen our service offerings with this newest location,” said Vaughn Moore, AIT president and chief executive officer. “Mexico City is a major hub and a key city for our growing international network. This office will play a significant role in broadening our scope of solutions between Mexico and the United States, as well as Asia and Europe.”

The new location will be AIT Worldwide Logistics’ fifth office in Mexico. The company also has offices in Guadalajara, Hermosillo and Monterrey.

AIT Worldwide Logistics recently acquired Los Angeles-based freight forwarder Unitrans International Corporation. The company acquired food logistics forwarder WorldFresh Express and ConneXion World Cargo in October 2018 and December 2018.

Nearly 1 million freight trucks have already crossed into the U.S. through Nuevo Laredo

During the first half of this year, customs operations in Nuevo Laredo increased more than 2 percent with the crossing of almost one million freight trucks into the United States. 

From January to June 2019, there were 968,797 trucks crossing through Nuevo Laredo into the United States, compared to the first six months of 2018 (949,637), according to the Nuevo Laredo Economic Development Commission.

The trucks were mostly traveling north from Mexico, exporting goods into the U.S., officials said.

Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, is the sister city of Laredo, directly across the U.S.-Mexico border. Combined, the two cities have a population of 633,000 people.

The increase represents 19,160 more trucks so far in 2019. The data was revealed during the third meeting of the Customs Facilitation Committee 2019 at Laredo’s International World Trade Bridge.

Ricardo Díaz de la Serna, Customs Administrator in Nuevo Laredo, said “it is expected to exceed the 2018 numbers, which were 1.9 million trucks that passed through last year.”

Eternity Mexico creates new index to track freight rates on maritime shipping 

International freight forwarding firm Eternity Mexico recently launched its new EAX Index, which is an index of international maritime freight for containerized cargo based on one of the most important maritime routes for Mexico – the Asia to Mexico route. 

The EAX will be a monthly data set allowing companies to know the average cost of a sea shipment.

“The business sector can make a better decision by quoting its imports. The digital tool will make costs more competitive in the sector, as it provides transparency and certainty of cost management in the sea freight market of Asia,” Eternity Mexico said in a release. 

“The new EAX reflects the short-term, Freight All Kind (FAK), spot tariffs and related surcharges submitted by carriers of sea freight from Asian ports to Mexican ports (Manzanillo – Lazaro Cardenas) contemplating the various variables that impact the Asian freight market,” the company said.

Eternity México, which is based in Mexico City, is part of Hong Kong-based Eternity Group, a global freight forwarder founded in 1989. The Eternity Group operates 15 offices in China and Panama, as well as Central and South America.

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]