Watch Now

Mexican border city reconsiders ban on commercial trucks using bridges

US trade officials said ban on trucks in Reynosa is “nonviable”

Officials in Reynosa, Mexico, considered banning trucks from using city bridges. Pictured are trucks crossing into the U.S. from Mexico using the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge. (Photo: CBP)

The Mexican border city of Reynosa recently ordered a ban on commercial trucks using all city bridges to “improve road safety” for passenger vehicles.

The ban was announced in Reynosa — a sprawling city of 900,000 people along the United States-Mexico border — on Sept. 24.

“The Directorate of Traffic [for Reynosa] informs the general public, and especially to drivers of freight transport, that starting Sept. 24 [it] applies the restriction of heavy traffic on the bridges of the city,” according to the statement on the city’s website. “This ban aims to improve road safety for the movement of individuals and its implementation also generates greater order, which benefits the local and foreign carriers themselves with the proper use of the avenues in this city.” 

According to Luis Bazan, the director of the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge in Texas, the ban was reconsidered after Reynosa officials met with Mexico’s National Chamber of Freight Transport (CANACAR) and federal transportation representatives.

“The city of Reynosa did try to ban commercial trucks from accessing their city bridges, which connect to major freight corridors and the Pharr Bridge, but after meeting with CANACAR and Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT), it was determined to be nonviable,” Bazan said.

However, the ban is still listed on the city of Reynosa’s website. Officials with the city and representatives with CANACAR did not respond to attempts to contact them.

According to the ban, truck drivers who violate it by using city bridges will be subject to fines. The city did not specify the amount of the fines.

It’s unclear if the ban was enforced. Authorities in Reynosa implemented an information campaign involving social media posts, as well as new signage and traffic signals on bridges around the city informing drivers of the ban on trucks.

“Respect the signs and traffic lights, whose purpose is the road order, as well as the prevention of accidents,” read one of the new street signs. 

Bazan said the truck ban had no effect on Pharr-Reynosa bridge traffic since it was announced Sept. 24.

“It has had no effect on the movement of commercial trucks and our truck crossings are up for September, just as they have been from June through August. Commercial traffic is flowing and going,” Bazan said. 

Reynosa is located south across the Rio Grande River from the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge, one of the busiest commercial cross-border trucking routes along the U.S.-Mexico border.

In August, 59,687 trucks crossed the bridge, an 8% increase over the same month in 2019. The bridge had more than 6,000 trucks cross southbound into Mexico during August, an increase of 11% compared to 2019. 

The Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge also accounts for 70% of the produce entering the U.S. from Mexico, according to Bazan.

The bridge’s trade totaled $2.55 billion for the month of July and $36.68 billion for all of 2019, according to Census Bureau data analyzed by WorldCity.

Reynosa also has more than 150 export maquiladoras, employing more than 131,000 workers. Companies with factories in Reynosa include LG Electronics, Panasonic, Delphi Technologies and Nidec Motor Corp.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Noi Mahoney.

More articles by Noi Mahoney

Borderlands: DHL Express launches Hong Kong-Mexico service

Convoy CEO: Things I learned at warehouses and truck stops

US maintains duties on Mexican rebar

Mexican rail blockade costing millions in delayed freight

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]