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Borderlands: Mexico reports 3,000-plus cargo thefts in first half of 2021

From January through July, Mexico recorded more than 5,260 cargo trucks that were robbed nationwide. (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: Mexico reports 5,000-plus cargo thefts in first half of 2021; automotive supplier relocates to Texas, bringing 315 jobs; Mexico City-based last-mile logistics provider raises $7 million; and international customs broker expands near US-Mexico border. 

Mexico reports 5,000-plus cargo thefts in first half of 2021

Commercial trucks remain at significant risk for robbery or hijacking across Mexico’s highways every month, according to data from Mexico’s National Public Security System (SNSP), an agency that monitors crime.

From January through July, the SSPC recorded 5,677 cargo trucks that were robbed nationwide.

Cargo theft decreased 37% to 778 incidents in August, compared to the same month last year.

Mexico’s central region had the highest number of cargo theft cases overall at 55%, followed by the western part of Mexico at 29%.

The most often stolen items are food and beverage, clothing and footwear, auto parts, steel, tires, and wine and liquor, according to SNSP.

Security strategies that carriers should think about include satellite tracking devices and highway monitoring devices on roads in high-crime areas, as well as employing convoys to transport goods, according to Verónica Torres, executive director of the Mexican Association of Private Security Companies.

“The technology is available; review your processes so that you have the technology that is generating the security you need,” Torres said during the Ensuring Safe Freight Transportation seminar at the DHL Transportation Forum 2021 on Sept. 11. 

Automotive supplier relocates to Texas, bringing 315 jobs 

Vehicle Accessories Inc. announced it is leasing a 310,000-square-foot facility in Mesquite, Texas.

The automotive products company will move in next year, relocating its 315 manufacturing jobs from New York and Canada to Texas. 

Vehicle Accessories produces vehicle door edge guards, splash guards, moldings, bumper protectors, door sills and floor mats.

The company’s customers include Toyota, Lexus, Ford, Subaru, Nissan, Infiniti, Honda and General Motors.

Mexico City-based last-mile logistics provider raises $7 million

Cargamos, a last-mile logistics platform, announced a $7 million raise in follow-on funding, bringing its total seed round to $11 million. 

The Mexico City-based company said it will use the funds to build a large fulfilment facility in Mexico City, according to TechCrunch.

Cargamos works with several of Mexico’s largest retailers. When the company builds its fulfillment facility in Mexico City, it will be able to expand its service to smaller and medium-size businesses, officials said.

International customs broker expands near US-Mexico border

AMFCO Logistics, an international customs broker, announced it will expand its operations in Brownsville, Texas.

The company said it will construct a 30,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution facility at the North Brownsville Industrial Park. AMFCO could invest about $1 million and employ up to eight people at the facility, according to the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corp. (GBIC).

“[AMFCO] is currently operating at two different locations; their relocation to the North Brownsville Industrial Park will allow the company to gain efficiencies through the consolidation and possible expansion of their operations at this strategic location, located in close proximity to the Port of Brownsville,” Helen Ramirez, CEO and executive director of GBIC, said in a statement.

The Port of Brownsville is a deepwater seaport located along the U.S.-Mexico border and a major trade channel between the two countries.

“We believe this project will be instrumental in our growth as a company,” Luis Rodriguez, owner of MMLC Holdings, said in a statement. MMLC Holdings is the parent company of AMFCO Logistics.

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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]