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Borderlands: Cargo theft increases 18% in Mexico during March

Mexican trucking companies reported 804 cases of cargo theft across Mexico during the month of March. (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: cargo theft in Mexico increases 18% during March; Kohler to invest $200M in Mexico; a new EV component factory has been announced for Ramos Arizpe; and truck driver is in critical condition after collision with train.

Cargo theft in Mexico increases 18% in March

Mexican trucking companies reported 804 cases of cargo theft during March, according to a report from the country’s Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC) analyzed by Transport and Tourism Magazine. .

The 804 incidents in March represented an 18% increase compared to the same month in 2021, when 679 cases were reported. 

The state of México ranked No. 1 in cargo thefts in March with 465 cases, a 39% year-over-year increase compared to the same month in 2021, according to SSPC. The states of Puebla and Michoacán were ranked second and third for cargo thefts in March. 

The most commonly stolen goods included fresh food, food items, construction materials, automotive parts and electronic products.

While cargo theft was up across Mexico in March, cases of stolen tractor-trailers were down about 4% from April 2021 to March 2022, according to data from the Mexican Association of Insurance Institutions (AMIS).

AMIS reported that 7,099 insured tractor-trailers were stolen over the last 12 months, compared to 7,406 units from April 2020 to March 2021.

The state of Mexico led the list of most stolen tractor-trailer units with 1,945 cases. It was followed by Puebla with 757, Veracruz with 624, Guanajuato with 583 and Jalisco with 438 stolen tractor-trailers.

Norma Alicia Rosas Rodríguez, general director of AMIS, said 59% of the stolen tractor-trailers — about 4,200 units — were recovered by authorities.

Watch: FreightWaves carrier update for April 21.

Kohler invests $200M in Mexico, adding fourth plant

Wisconsin-based Kohler Co. recently announced plans for a $200 million manufacturing plant near the Mexican city of Monterrey, in the state of Nuevo León.

The plant will produce faucets and could eventually employ as many as 1,600 workers. The first phase of construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023.

The new plant will be Kohler’s fourth in Nuevo León. The plant will serve the North American market.

“One of the reasons why we are opening this plant in Nuevo León is because we want to reduce delivery times and because of the workforce that Mexico has, which is highly competitive,” Roberto Martínez, vice president of Kohler México, told Milenio.

Privately held Kohler is best known for its plumbing products, but it also manufactures furniture, cabinetry, tile, engines and generators. 

The company employs more than 31,000 people and operates 49 manufacturing plants around the world.

EV component factory announced for Ramos Arizpe

LG Magna ePowertrain, a joint venture between LG Electronics and Magna International, has begun construction of a new plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.

The 260,000 square-foot plant will produce electric motors, inverters and onboard chargers for General Motors’ electric vehicles. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023.

LG Magna ePowertrain is a relatively new joint venture launched in July of 2021 that now consists of over 1,300 employees across Korea, North and South America, Europe and Asia.

LG Electronics is based in Seoul, South Korea, and Canada’s Magna International is based in Aurora, Ontario.

GM has operated a vehicle plant at the Ramos Arizpe since 1981. The automaker recently began converting the manufacturing facilities for the production of electric cars. GM has not officially confirmed which electric models it will build in Ramos Arizpe. 

Truck driver in critical condition after collision with train

A truck driver is in critical condition after his tractor-trailer collided with a train Wednesday outside of Houston.

The tractor-trailer was traveling along Katy Hockley Road about 35 miles west of Houston when it went onto the tracks and was hit by a passing train around 7:15 a.m. The train hit the cab of the tractor, separating it from the trailer, and then pushed it hundreds of yards down the track, according to a report by KHOU 11.

The truck driver was transported to a hospital and was listed in critical but stable condition. Officials did not release the name of the driver nor what the truck was carrying.

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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]