June 11, 2023

Borderlands: Texas trucking company acquired by Online Transport Inc.


Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Texas trucking company acquired by Online Transport Inc.; U.S. requests USMCA dispute resolution over Mexico corn ban; RK Logistics expands into Arizona market; and Watco opens railcar storage facility in Texas.

Texas trucking company acquired by Online Transport Inc.

El Paso, Texas-based Mustang Express has been acquired by Online Transport Inc., a truckload carrier with more than 550 power units and 600 employees.

Mustang Express is an over-the-road truckload team-based operation with two drivers in the tractor at all times.

“Mustang Express’ fleet consists of 65 drivers that primarily operate on the El Paso to Midwest corridor,” Online Transport said on LinkedIn. “This strategic acquisition will immediately double our footprint in El Paso.”

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Mustang Express was founded in 2001 by Rick and Laura Hernandez. The company transports automotive parts, medical products, raw material and other cargo, according to a news release. The carrier serves customers in the automotive, medical, paper products and technology industries.

Mustang Express’ terminal is located about 30 minutes from the Bridge of the Americas port of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Online Transport, founded in 2000, is based in Greenfield, Indiana. With 10 terminals across the country, the company provides over-the-road transportation services ranging from bulk liquid, flatbed, refrigerated and dry van, as well as brokerage and warehouse distribution services. 

As of Friday, outbound freight from El Paso (OTVI.ELP) fell about 3.7% week over week, according to FreightWaves SONAR. El Paso’s outbound volume is down 36% year over year.

In recent months, carriers in the El Paso area have experienced delays at the U.S.-Mexico border due to everything from computer glitches on both sides, as well as disruptions caused by migrant crossings. 

Outbound freight from El Paso, Texas, is down about 3.7% week over week, according to FreightWaves’ SONAR. To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here.

US requests USMCA dispute resolution over Mexico corn ban

U.S. officials recently requested dispute settlement consultations with Mexico over the country’s plan to restrict imports of genetically modified (GM) corn from the United States.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai initiated the dispute consultations using the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The consultations will last 75 days. If no resolution is reached, officials can call for a third-party dispute panel.

US officials recently initiated dispute consultations using the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement over Mexico’s plan to ban imports of genetically modified yellow corn. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Mexico’s plan to prohibit the import of the GM crop began in 2020 when Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador decreed he would eliminate the use of the herbicide glyphosate and GM corn in the country. 

According to some U.S. officials, interruptions to corn exports to Mexico could severely affect farmers in corn-producing states, including Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Minnesota and Indiana.

Mexico’s GM corn ban was initially scheduled to begin in 2024, but has been postponed by Mexican authorities until 2025.

RK Logistics expands into Arizona market

Fremont, California-based RK Logistics Group recently opened an office in Scottsdale, Arizona, aimed at supporting clients in the Phoenix area and southern part of the state.

The facility will include sales, business development and administrative staff and will focus on delivering logistics solutions for industrial and manufacturing businesses in the region, according to a news release.

In addition to the new office, the company has plans to open a 190,000-square-foot logistics warehouse in the area by the end of the year.  

RK Logistics is a 3PL providing supply chain services for global customers. The company has five logistics centers across the U.S. and employs about 400 workers.

The Scottsdale office is the company’s third expansion this year, previously opening facilities in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Austin, Texas.

Watco opens railcar storage facilities in Texas.

Port 10 Watco Rail Logistics — a joint venture between Watco, Pontikes Development and McNair Interests — recently opened a storage-in-transit yard in Baytown, Texas.

Watco will provide switching operations for the yard, which features 420 rail-car spots, the company said. The yard is near Port Houston and provides access to the Union Pacific Railroad.

In addition to 400 railcar spots, 3 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space will be available for forward-positioning customer products.

“The new yard adds convenience, flexibility and operational efficiencies for our customers,” said Marc Massoglia, Watco senior vice president of sales, in the company’s monthly newsletter. 

Watco is a transportation and supply chain services company with locations throughout North America and Australia. The company is based in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Watch: contract rates are dropping.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Noi Mahoney.

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