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Cargo trucks waiting up to 8 hours at California border crossing

Mexican truckers face extended delays to pass through customs at Otay Mesa Port of Entry in California

Longer truck wait times at Otay Mesa were reportedly caused by changes to customs requirements and traffic flows by Mexican officials. (Photo: CBP/Glenn Fawcett)

Mexican freight transporters are facing wait times of up to eight hours near the U.S.-Mexico border in Southern California.

The longer lines at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry south of San Diego were reportedly caused by changes to customs requirements by a new pilot program initiated by the city of Tijuana and Mexico’s National Chamber of Freight Transport (CANACAR).

The pilot program is not well defined and was implemented without consultations with trade associations and transportation officials, said Lupita Sandoval, president of the Independent Transporters of Baja California.

“We are seeing that every time a pilot program is implemented without making the necessary consensus with participants, which are in this case the transport companies, this pilot operation apparently carried out by the city council is causing chaos in the streets of Tijuana,” Sandoval said to news outlet Uniradio Informa

Wait times for trucks heading into the U.S. through Otay Mesa usually run from one to three hours. 

The Tijuana customs agency has four commercial access lanes leading toward the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, which is operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

The four commercial lanes on the Mexican side of the border include: 

  • Free and Secure Trade (FAST) for certified cargo lane.
  • Customs Technological Integration Project (PITA) lane.
  • Regular noncertified cargo lane.
  • Lane for trucks that are crossing empty into the U.S.

According to Sandoval, CANACAR and the Tijuana city council carried out a change in customs requirements and a reorganization of traffic in the area, which has affected trucks heading into the U.S.

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One Comment

  1. Stephen Webster

    We need to have a big compound just inside the U S as we to protect these truck drivers and inspect more of the trucks. We also need to pass a law that says all truck drivers from Mexico or Canada make twice the minimum wage of the state they are working in based on their log. This should also apply to foreign truck drivers here on work permits that cross state or international borders.

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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]