Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Harvest Sherwood selects Fr8Hub as broker; Arizona-Mexico Town Hall focuses on cross-border trade; US-Mexico law firms partner up; Laredo airport receives $9.8 million for improvements.
Harvest Sherwood Food Distributors selects Fr8Hub to move cross-border freight
Harvest Sherwood Food Distributors, one of the largest independent meat distributors in the United States, recently selected Fr8Hub to help move loads out of Mexico through Laredo, Texas.
Harvest Sherwood ships more than 20 million pounds of food products weekly through a network of distribution centers in Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Miami and Orlando.
“I have worked with a lot of brokers, a lot of different carriers, and my biggest thing when I joined Harvest Sherwood, I said, ‘I don’t want to be a broker anymore, I don’t want to give a load to a carrier or broker and have to chase the load down and call guys all day long,” said Ari Stern, logistics director of Harvest Sherwood Food Distributors.
“Right off the bat, I was able to play around with the Fr8Hub system a little bit and I was able to not have to call anybody and I could go and find out exactly where my trucks were,” Stern said.
Harvest Sherwood will primarily be shipping meat from Mexico using Fr8Hub’s digital freight marketplace, which matches cross-border shippers throughout the domestic United States and Mexico – to and from border cities like Laredo.
“Companies like Harvest Sherwood need the kind of freight visibility that Fr8Hub provides, to ensure that their product arrives at stores and restaurants on time and ready for the shelf,” said Ohad Axelrod, co-founder and chief executive of Laredo-based Fr8Hub.
Axelrod said technology is making it easier to keep track of trucks in Mexico than in the past.
“Today, it is getting easier, and I would say that two years ago when Fr8Hub started, we were tracking mostly through GPS,” Axelrod said. “Mexico, we’re kind of unique, because we’re working through multiple methods of how to track and provide visibility.”
With clients like Harvest Sherwood, Axelrod said keeping track of reefer trucks crossing the US-Mexico border is critical.
“What’s interesting on the reefer side, especially in the case of meats, the service time of taking them from the border and delivering them on time is crucial for the tracking side,” Axelrod said.
Harvest Sherwood, headquartered in Detroit and celebrating its 50th year in business, operates distribution centers totaling over one million square feet of refrigerated warehouse space with more than one million cases in stock in more than 50 categories.
Stern said the bottom line is keeping customers and clients happy with their products.
“If we were to deliver our meat shipments a day late, that’s a huge problem – our customer doesn’t get their product on time, and they are going to stop buying from us,” Stern said. “With Fr8Hub, their technology is taking a lot of pressure off my back and just knowing that my freight is in their hands, I really don’t have any concerns.”
Arizona-Mexico Town Hall to focus on increasing cross-border trade
Creating a cross-border electronic business guide and improving bi-lateral trade and investment is the aim of the upcoming third annual Arizona & Mexico Town Hall on October 3-4.
The event will be held at the Hotel Lucerna in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. It is being sponsored by Phoenix-based law firm Jennings, Strouss & Salmon.
The goal of the Arizona & Mexico Town Hall is for participants to build professional networks and create an updated and improved electronic cross-border business guide between Arizona and Mexico.
“The current guide is from 1994 and it’s in paperback. It’s a dinosaur,” said Patrick Welch, an attorney with Jennings, Strouss & Salmon in an interview with Chamber Business News.
Other topics will include business organizations, real property, banking and financing, tax regimes and incentives, intellectual property, import/export regulations, labor and employment, the importance of socially responsible development initiatives, and much more.
The keynote speaker will be Elia Tello, Consul General of the U.S. for Hermosillo, who will talk during a lunchtime “fireside chat” on October 4.
Mexico accounted for 30% of all Arizona’s exports to foreign markets and 37% of all Arizona’s imports from foreign markets, according to the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. Arizona exports to Mexico in 2018 totaled $7.6 billion, including manufacturing products and agricultural goods.
For more information, visit www.aztownhall.org.
U.S., Mexico law firms partner for cross-border trade transactions
United States law firm Robert Wray and Mexico’s SAI Derecho & Economía recently announced a strategic alliance to expand both firms’ cross-border capabilities.
The partnership will enable the two firms to offer a wider range of services in transactional and cross-border matters between the U.S. and Mexico, according to a press release.
The new strategic alliance will be led by Mariano Gomezperalta, head of SAI’s corporate law group. Gomezperalta is also a member of the Washington, D.C.-based Robert Wray law firm.
“By marrying Robert Wray’s sophisticated cross-border and aviation practice with SAI’s inter-disciplinary approach to corporate law, we can offer our clients expanded capabilities in Mexico and the U.S.” Gomezperalta said in a release. “I look forward to this exciting new chapter for both firms as we maintain our focus on quality of service and build long-standing relationships with our clients.”
SAI specializes in the areas of corporate law, administrative litigation, international trade and investment banking. Robert Wray has worked in structured finance transactions, export credit agency financings and aviation finance.
Laredo airport receives $9.8 million FAA grant for cargo improvements
Officials with the city of Laredo recently announced more than $9.8 million in federal funds for the Laredo International Airport through the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP).
The funds will be used to rehabilitate the Laredo airport’s apron and to increase efficiency and safety for travelers and for cargo aircraft.
The airport apron is the area where aircraft are parked, unloaded or loaded, refueled, or boarded.
The funds for the Laredo International Airport were part of $55 million in infrastructure grants awarded to 11 airports in Texas as part of the United State’s Department of Transportation’s AIP initiative.
Other airports near the Texas-Mexico border receiving grants were Valley International Airport in Harlingen at $1.65 million for taxiway reconstruction and installing airfield guidance signs; McAllen Miller International Airport at $6.68 million for runway rehabilitation; and San Antonio International Airport at $5.91 million for taxiway construction and apron expansion.