June 18, 2023

Borderlands: Exports of Mexican-built cargo trucks up 34% in May


Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Exports of Mexican-built cargo trucks up 34% in May; a California commercial border crossing project receives $140 million; Mexico opens a $175 million highway project to boost trade with Texas; and a U.S. logistics firm is building a $2.7 million border export hub in Mexico.

Exports of Mexican-built cargo trucks up 34% in May

Mexico’s truck production and exports saw marked increases in May, helped by better synchronization of the supply chain and shortening delivery times, officials said. 

Miguel Elizalde, president of Mexico’s National Association of Bus, Truck and Tractor Producers (ANPACT), said the latest figures show that demand for cargo trucks from the U.S. continues to be positive.

Elizalde said during a recent video news conference that the “14,845 units [exported] is one of the best months of May we have had in the last few years.

“We did have a higher monthly export total a couple of months earlier, but if we continue with this trend, then we are going to continue to be very successful the rest of the year,” Elizalde said. 

The 10 truck makers in Mexico that are members of ANPACT manufactured a total of 18,728 units in May, an 38% year-over-year (y/y) increase compared with 2022. Exports of trucks increased 34% y/y.

The U.S. was the overwhelming destination for trucks produced in Mexico during May, accounting for 96% of exports, followed by Canada at 2.5% and Peru and Colombia at about 0.5% each.

Truck makers 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.

Elizalde also reiterated that Mexico’s truck producers could see a major boost over the next few years from a wave of manufacturers arriving in the country.

“Nearshoring is an opportunity that we will undoubtedly promote in favor of Mexico, for which we seek to strengthen the dialogue with federal and state authorities so that the necessary physical and energy infrastructure is available,” Elizalde said.

Freightliner was the top truck producer and exporter in Mexico during May. The company built 10,400 trucks, a 56% y/y increase, and exported 9,142 units, a 58% y/y decrease.

International Trucks Inc. produced 5,764 units in May, a 16% y/y increase, and exported 5,273, a 14% y/y rise.

Kenworth manufactured 1,402 units, a 3% y/y increase, and exported 430 trucks, a 34% y/y decrease from 2022.

Elizalde also said Mexican authorities must provide better security for the trucking industry. In recent months there has been an increase in cargo thefts around the country.

“Security is a necessary condition for economic growth, the stability of the country and the progress of both individuals and companies,” Elizalde said. “The lack of security affects the business environment. We urge authorities at all levels of government to intervene in a timely and efficient manner.”

California commercial border crossing project receives $140M

The state of California has awarded $140 million in additional funding to the Otay Mesa East-Otay II border crossing, just south of San Diego.

Otay Mesa East-Otay II will develop a new U.S.-Mexico border crossing three miles east of the original Otay Mesa port of entry. It will include 10 lanes, five for passenger vehicles and five for cargo transport. More than $1 billion has already been slated for construction.

Otay Mesa East-Otay II, which began construction in August 2022, is scheduled to be completed in 2026.

A conceptual drawing shows the Otay Mesa East-Otay II project, scheduled for completion in 2026. (Image: Caltrans/SANDAG)

Mexico opens $175M highway project to boost trade with Texas

Authorities in Mexico recently opened a new highway project aimed at reducing travel times and speeding up cargo truck movements through the state of Chihuahua.

The $175 million Ciudad Juarez Highway Bypass aims to save up to 90 minutes of travel time for transporters traveling from central Mexico to the border crossing in El Paso, Texas.

The 20-mile bypass consists of two lanes and reduces the route between the municipalities of Villa Ahumada to Guadalupe Villa heading toward El Paso and diverts traffic away from urban areas. 

“The bypass will provide more access for freight vehicles traveling on the Queretaro-Ciudad Juarez corridor,” Mexico’s ministry of transportation and infrastructure said in a statement.

The Ciudad Juarez Highway Bypass in Mexico aims to speed up cargo traffic to Texas. (Photo: Mexico’s ministry of transportation and infrastructure)

US logistics firm to build $2.7M border export hub in Mexico

With the aim of expediting cross-border shipments, the CiL Group recently began construction of El Trokadero de CiL, a logistics yard and export center. 

The $2.7 million facility will be located on 4.6 acres in the Mexican municipality of Anahuac, across the U.S.-Mexico border from Laredo, Texas. It will also be in close proximity to Laredo’s Colombia-Solidarity International Bridge.

El Trokadero de CiL will have the capacity to process 200 trucks a day and more than 5,000 export operations a month, officials said.

Founded in 1992, McAllen, Texas-based CiL Group offers global door-to-door logistics services, including import and export services, through land, rail and ocean transport, as well as warehousing and distribution handling.

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