Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Forager expands with Mexico hires; Moova expands into Mexican market; WeDo Logistics acquires Lone Star Overnight; and Mexican carrier acquires 160 Kenworth tractors.
Forager expands with Mexico hires
FreightTech firm Forager recently expanded its cross-border operations with nine new employees in Mexico.
The expansion provides Forager with a presence in some of Mexico’s key cities and markets, Matt Silver, Forager’s co-founder and CEO, told FreightWaves.
“There are a handful of major cities in Mexico, and it makes sense to have a presence in them,” Silver said. “Our core focus is cross-border freight and a big part of that is Mexico.”
Trade between the U.S. and Mexico totaled $538 billion in 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The U.S. imported $325.4 billion worth of goods from Mexico, while exporting $212.6 billion to Mexico.
In 2020, more than 3 million commercial trucks crossed the U.S.-Mexico border at ports of entry across Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas.
Forager is a Chicago-based cross-border logistics technology platform founded in 2018. Forager launched SCOUT — the company’s cross-border booking and pricing platform — in October 2019.
Silver said the strategy for expanding in Mexico was to have bilingual employees on the ground who can communicate with carriers and other customers.
“Culturally, how do you get closer to your carrier base and your customer base than having people living, breathing where they and the rest of your business is?” Silver said. “We have people all throughout the United States too, and we’ll add people in Canada this year, bring someone in Laredo as well shortly.”
Silver also said tapping into Mexico’s talent pool seemed like a good choice.
“There are a lot of people in Mexico that are looking at working in either tech or supply chain and they get a mixture of both of those things with what we’re doing, and they get to work for a venture-backed company,” Silver said. “It isn’t really an opportunity that comes across a whole lot in Mexico.”
Foragers employees in Mexico work in a variety of roles both on the customer and carrier side, said Sarah Argue, Forager’s senior manager of people operations.
“Starting in October 2020, we welcomed our first five employees, followed by four more in November and December,” Argue said. “Currently we have team members in Guanajuato, Monterrey, Querétaro, Nuevo Laredo and Ciudad Juarez. Someday we would love to have an office in Mexico so all our employees who are based there get the opportunity to meet and work alongside one another.”
Argue said building an international team in Mexico and talking to different candidates was an interesting process.
“What I did find fascinating is that some of the candidates who I spoke with had already interacted with Forager in some way. They were even familiar with our tech, SCOUT,” Argue said. “Whether they worked with a member of our carrier team or customer operations team while employed at a previous company, they knew about and were excited by the solution we were bringing to the market.”
With the most recent hires, Forager now has 73 employees, 64 in the U.S. and nine in Mexico.
Silver agreed Forager eventually would like to open offices in Mexico, with cities such as Monterrey, Guadalajara, Puebla and Mexico City as options.
“We will likely be hiring somebody in Laredo in the very near future too and then once it makes sense to open a physical office there, I would not be surprised for us to build out a team in Laredo, based on the fact that there are just so many carriers that are based there and so much cross-border moves there,” Silver said.
Last-mile logistics firm Moova expands into Mexico
Moova officials did not disclose the amount of the investment. Company officials said the new funding will be used to expand its operations throughout Latin America, including Mexico.
Moova provides a proprietary technology platform and a mobile app for route and fleet optimization. The app provides access to a network of “moovers” (delivery partners) who provide last-mile deliveries from manufacturing facilities to retailers or directly to consumers, according to a release.
Moova is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The company currently operates in six Latin American countries. Movile is based in São Paulo, Brazil.
Moova officials said the investment was driven by the worldwide spike in e-commerce sales during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic created a wide-scale change in consumer behavior, and Moova has played a fundamental role to keep people safely in their homes while receiving necessary goods from online sources,” Tony Migliore, Moova founder and CEO, said in a statement.
WeDo Logistics acquires Lone Star Overnight
WeDo Logistics recently acquired Lone Star Overnight (LSO), a regional parcel carrier based in Austin, Texas.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. LSO, founded in 1991, offers parcel delivery services in Texas, Oklahoma, parts of Louisiana, southeastern New Mexico, as well as Mexico.
The acquisition highlights continued strong investment interest in regional parcel delivery companies, according to Andrew Townsend, chairman of WeDo Logistics.
“The LSO team has done a terrific job of growing the business despite limited resources. We look forward to supporting organic and strategic investments enabling the leadership team to build on their success to date,” Townsend said in a statement.
Mexico-based carrier acquires 160 Kenworth tractors
Trareysa, a Reynosa, Mexico-based carrier, recently purchased 160 Class 8 tractors from Kenworth.
The first 40 units were delivered in December by the Kenworth del Río Bravo distributorship based in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.
The power units Trareysa purchased from Kenworth were T880 tractors, equipped with Cummins X15 engines.
Trareysa specializes in transporting hydrocarbons from the Texas-Mexico border at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.
Borderlands is sponsored by Forager. More information on Forager’s offerings can be found at: https://www.foragerscs.com/.
More articles by Noi Mahoney