Borderlands: Mexican-made truck exports up 25% in October

Borderlands is a weekly review of developments in the world of cross-border transportation and trade between the US and Mexico. This week: Mexico-made truck exports up 17% in October; Pilot Freight Services expands in Texas; Trade X Launches Car Import/Export Platform in Mexico; and US Border Patrol agents stop smugglers transporting migrants in trucks.

Exports of Mexican-made heavy trucks up 25% in October

Mexico’s heavy-duty truck manufacturing and exports continued to recover in October, supported by demand from the United States and elsewhere, said Miguel Elizalde, president of Mexico’s National Association of Bus, Truck and Tractor Producers (ANPACT).

During the month, the 10 truck manufacturers that are members of ANPACT manufactured 17,281 heavy vehicles, an increase of 27% y/y compared to 2021. Truck exports increased 25% year-on-year to 14,209 units.

“We have positive numbers,” Elizalde said during a video press conference Thursday. “… We hope that the numbers that will be reported in November and December will continue this growth trend to reconfirm that we are an export power.”

Truck and parts manufacturers with assembly plants and factories in Mexico include Freightliner, Kenworth, Navistar, Hino, International, DINA, MAN SE, Mercedes-Benz, Isuzu, Scania, Cummins and Detroit Diesel.

The US remains the top destination for Mexican-made trucks, which accounted for 95% of exports in October, followed by Canada (2.3%) and Colombia (1.6%), according to data from Mexico’s national statistics agency ( INEGI).

Freightliner was the largest truck producer and exporter in Mexico for the month. The company built 10,000 trucks, a 36% year-on-year increase, and exported 9,092, a 33% year-on-year increase.

International Trucks Inc. produced 5,221 units in October, a 12% year-on-year increase, and exported 4,619 units, a 14% year-on-year increase.

Kenworth produced 1,173 units during the month, down 8% year-on-year from the same period last year. The company exported 494 trucks, a 6% year-on-year increase compared to October 2021.

Elizalde also spoke about the recent cyber attack on Mexico’s Infrastructure, Communications and Transport Secretariat (SICT) on October 24.

SICT regulates commercial road transport throughout the country. After the cyber attack, the agency announced that it would not issue new permits, license plates and driver’s licenses to commercial truck operators until December 31.

Elizalde said there is currently a backlog of up to 950 trucks waiting to be granted operating permits and delaying new documents into next year could affect trade.

“Let’s remember that there are 5 million crossings between Mexico and the United States every year and we need to keep the export industry dynamic,” he said. “That [trucking] Industry makes manufacturing equipment through which businesses and public entities transport primary consumer goods – such as food, medicine, fuel, medicine, security and many others essential to economic activity – so it is important to keep our industry running.”

On Thursday, SICT officials announced a series of measures aimed at providing emergency solutions for the freight forwarding industry after the system hacking. Emergency service kiosks have been installed at all SICT centers across the country to help operators re-register for existing permits and driver’s licenses.

The agency also said it was communicating with U.S. authorities to help trucking companies retain documents needed for cross-border freight transportation. However, the order to suspend the issuance of new permits and licenses until the end of the year remains in place for the time being.

Logistics freight forwarder Pilot Freight Services has announced the opening of new facilities in Kyle, Texas and Omaha, Nebraska.

The Kyle facility will support customers in the Austin and San Antonio markets, the company said in a press release. Pilot Freight now has six facilities in Texas, as well as a dedicated middle-mile hub in Dallas.

Both the Kyle and Omaha facilities will provide transportation solutions via air, ground and sea transportation solutions.

Headquartered in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, Pilot provides first, middle and last mile transportation, specializing in the delivery of large and bulky cargo. The company operates approximately 90 facilities across North America with more than 2,600 employees.

In February, Pilot was acquired by shipping giant AP Moller – Maersk in a $1.8 billion deal.

Trade X launches automotive import/export platform in Mexico

Auto dealership Trade X opens a new facility in Mexico and expands its digital marketplace to connect buyers and dealers in Mexico, Canada and Nigeria

“We are excited to bring automotive buyers and sellers together in this vitally important market,” said Ricardo Ampudia, Trade X sales director for Mexico, in a press release. “In recent years we have seen a dramatic increase in interest in used vehicles. We look forward to working with Mexico’s dealers, fleet companies and mobility providers.”

The Trade X platform aims to connect car dealers, fleet owners, rental companies and mobility solution providers with importers and exporters around the world.

Based in Ontario, Canada, Trade X also offers services such as quality inspections, currency exchange, registered importer onboarding, shipping, real-time pricing analytics, renaming, and customs clearance.

Border officials stop smugglers transporting migrants in trucks

US Border Patrol agents from the Rio Grande Valley sector in South Texas arrested 29 migrants and two drivers in separate incidents.

The first case occurred Nov. 5 in Falfurrias, Texas, when agents from the Falfurrias Border Patrol Station spotted 15 migrants in a refrigerated semi-trailer.

The second case occurred Monday at a checkpoint near Sarita, Texas, when agents found 14 migrants in a grain truck-style tractor trailer.

The drivers and migrants were arrested in both cases.

“These people smuggling incidents highlight the extreme measures smugglers are taking to maximize their profits, regardless of the lives they are endangering,” said Gloria Chavez, chief of patrol police in the Rio Grande Valley, in a statement.

Watch: Diesel fuel prices continue to rise.

Click here to see more FreightWaves articles by Noi Mahoney.

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