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Milwaukee Tools among new factories in Mexico; Querétaro restricts cargo truck access

A recent wave of new foreign export factories opening across Mexico has been tied to the implementation of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade pact. (Photo: FreightWaves)

Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Milwaukee Tools and other new factories open across Mexico; Mexican city restricts cargo truck access; Sun Belle acquires Coolhouse Distribution Center; and Texas border patrol seizes more than $5M worth of drugs.

Milwaukee Tools, more new factories open across Mexico

Milwaukee Tools recently opened its new $83 million factory in the Mexican city of Torreón.

It joins a recent wave of new foreign export factories opening across Mexico since the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) went into force July 1.

The new factories from Boston-based Creation Technologies, Austria-based Pollmann International and El Paso, Texas-based MFG Solutions, Luxembourg-based Ikano Industries, and Milwaukee Tools will create more than 3,400 new jobs in Mexico.

Creation Technologies announced Wednesday it will build a new plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, creating 800 new jobs. The new 205,000-square-foot plant is being built 1.8 miles from an existing facility in Hermosillo with 200 employees.

Creation Technologies also has a plant in nearby Mexicali, Mexico, that currently employs about 500 workers.

“This expansion builds on our current Mexico operations where we have over 700 dedicated employees focused on providing outstanding service to our customers’ high reliability needs,” said Stephen P. DeFalco, chairman and CEO of Creation Technologies, in a release. 

Creation Technologies’ new factory will service customers in the aerospace and defense, medical and tech industrial sectors. It is scheduled to be operational in the third quarter of 2021.

Officials with the Wisconsin-based power tool company did not respond to requests for comment from FreightWaves. However, the city of Torreón recently featured Milwaukee Tools in a municipal promotional video titled “Torreón Eficiente.” 

MFG Solutions recently announced it will open a new facility in Guanajuato, Mexico, creating 10 jobs. The company manufactures rivets, screws, nuts and other joining devices for the automotive industry.

Pollmann International, a Tier 2 automotive manufacturer, announced Thursday it is building a manufacturing facility in the Mexican city of Querétaro, where it will produce door-locking systems for BMW and Daimler vehicles.

Pollman has not disclosed how many employees it will hire at the site. The factory, which is scheduled to open at the end of 2021, will be the company’s fifth in Mexico.

The new factories from Milwaukee Tools and Ikano Industries were announced before the USMCA went into affect, but Mexican officials have credited the new trade pact with attracting more foreign investors.

The Milwaukee Tool factory, which opened at the beginning of August, will directly employ 600 workers. The plant will also create another 2,000 jobs in manufacturing, logistics and transportation. 

Ikano Industries, a mattress supplier for Swedish retail giant IKEA, announced in June it would open a new manufacturing plant in the Mexican city of Ramos Arizpe. The export plant is expected to create 2,000 new jobs.

New truck restrictions in Querétaro, Mexico

The Mexican city of Querétaro implemented new measures starting Friday prohibiting trucks carrying commercial cargo from entering the metropolitan area between 6 and 9 a.m.

Commercial cargo also will be restricted from entering the city from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., beginning Oct. 27.

The regulation is aimed at improving traffic, reducing air pollution and increasing road safety, according to officials.

“The signees have the firm intention of improving order and ensuring a healthy coexistence between cargo transport and the rest of the vehicles,” said Saúl Antonio Obregón Biosca, secretary of mobility of the city of Querétaro, according to news outlet La Jornada

The agreement was signed by officials from Mexico’s National Chamber of Freight Transportation, the Mexican Association of Transport Organizations, the National Association of Private Transport and the mayor of Querétaro.

Other Mexican cities with similar freight transport restrictions include Guadalajara, Nuevo León, Jalisco, Sonora, Yucatán and Colima.

Sun Belle acquires Laredo’s Coolhouse Distribution Center

Sun Belle Inc. recently purchased the business and property of CoolHouse Distribution Center in Laredo, Texas.

CoolHouse will continue operating under the CoolHouse banner in Laredo. Lucy Montemayor, co-founder of Coolhouse, will join Sun Belle as general manager of the Laredo distribution center.

The facility, which was built three years ago, is a refrigerated distribution center for fresh and frozen products located on 11.4 acres of land. The price of the acquisition was not disclosed.

Currently, CoolHouse transloads and handles an average of 50 to 60 trucks daily. The facility is certified to handle organics, is kosher certified and is approved by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to transload in-bond shipments with Canadian and European destinations.

The distribution center is located at 13907 Copper Drive, about 16 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Schiller Park, Illinois-based Sun Belle, founded in 1992, is a grower, distributor and marketer of fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Texas border patrol seizes more than $5M worth of drugs

U.S. Border Patrol agents recently foiled two narcotics smuggling attempts involving tractor-trailers in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.  

On Thursday, agents working at the Falfurrias border patrol checkpoint discovered liquid methamphetamine inside a tractor-trailer’s gas tanks. The drugs reportedly had a street value of about $500,000. 

That same afternoon, Falfurrias checkpoint agents also searched another tractor-trailer, locating more than 60 bundles of methamphetamine weighing more than 180 pounds. The drugs have an estimated worth of $4.5 million. 

Agents arrested both drivers and notified the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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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]