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Borderlands: Exports of Mexican-built cargo trucks hit 15,221 in January

Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of U.S.-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Exports of Mexican-built Class 8 trucks hit 15,221 in January; railroad cargo thefts drop 21% year over year across Mexico; fuel and lubricants distributor expands into South Texas; and rare insect intercepted in shipment at Otay Mesa port of entry.

Exports of Mexican-built cargo trucks hit 15,221 in January

Mexico’s truck production and exports started the year strong, helped by normalizing supply chains and demand from the U.S., officials said.  

In January, the 10 truck makers in Mexico that are members of ANPACT manufactured 18,568 units, a 26% year-over-year (y/y) increase compared to 2021. Exports of trucks increased 14% y/y to 15,221 vehicles.

The U.S. received 96% of the trucks exported by Mexico, 14,658 units. Canada was the second-largest buyer with 2.4%, followed by Peru with 0.4%.

“Step by step, the supply chain and logistics networks are recovering worldwide,” Guillermo Rosales, deputy director general of the Mexican Association of Automobile Dealers, said during a recent monthly press conference.

Miguel Elizalde, president of Mexico’s National Association of Bus, Truck and Tractor Producers, said 2023 is off to a good start.

“January has given positive signs, which is encouraging,” Elizalde said during the same press conference. “We must take advantage of the momentum of both the local market and the export market to achieve a complete recovery of the industry and the economy. It’s essential to position ourselves intelligently and accurately as an industry and as a country to promote and take advantage of initiatives to relocate global manufacturing supply chains.”

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.

Freightliner was the top truck producer and exporter in Mexico during January. The company built 10,728 trucks, a 6.5% y/y increase, and exported 9,844 units, a 3% y/y increase.

International Trucks Inc. produced 5,691 units in January, a 78% y/y increase, and exported 4,881, a 50% y/y rise.

Kenworth manufactured 1,489 units, a 33% y/y increase, and exported 484 trucks, a 3% y/y decrease from 2021.

Railroad cargo thefts drop 21% year over year across Mexico 

Railroad robberies in Mexico declined 20.8% y/y from January to October, compared to the same period in 2021.

During the first 10 months of 2022, 1,473 reports of cargo theft were recorded by authorities, according to Mexico’s Rail Transport Regulatory Agency (ARTF).

The most stolen commodities were consumer goods, corn, wheat, cement, tools and construction materials.

For the month of October, rail thefts declined 26% to 154 incidents. The states registering the most cargo thefts for the month were Sonora with 47, Sinaloa with 28 and Jalisco with 18.

Vandalism of rail cars and tracks increased 18% y/y to 9,705 reported cases from January to October.

Railway crashes declined 69% y/y in the first 10 months of 2022, while rail blockades decreased 23% y/y, ARTF reported.

The states with the most reports of railway blockades from January through October were Oaxaca (1,599.92 hours of blockade), Mexico (1,019.23 hours) and Puebla (128.7 hours).

The most stolen commodities from trains in 2022 were corn, wheat, consumer goods, tools and construction materials, according to Mexico’s Rail Transport Regulatory Agency. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Fuel and lubricants distributor expands into South Texas

Kapalua Marine, Fuels and Lubes recently opened a facility in Harlingen, Texas, to serve more customers in the region.

The 20,000-square-foot facility is on 6 acres near Harlingen Industrial Park. The new center will create about 20 jobs, including truck drivers, warehouse distribution workers and sales reps.

Ford Smith Jr., president of Texas Enterprises Inc., Kapalua’s parent company, said customers include car dealerships, oil and lube centers, and trucking companies.

“We have a lot of industrial customers in the Port of Brownsville, shipbuilders, and refineries,” Smith told Texas Border Business. “We also have a commercial fuel business that sells to farmers, trucking companies — traditional users of fuel.”

Austin-based Texas Enterprises also operates a carrier with 150 trucks and 108 drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Founded in 1921, Texas Enterprises is a family-owned and -operated company with offices in 10 locations across Texas and New Mexico. The company offers wholesale distribution of lubricants and fuel through several divisions, including Allied Sales Co., Golden West Oil, Kapalua Fuel and Marine, Triple S Fuels, and United Oil and Grease Co.

Rare insect intercepted in shipment at Otay Mesa port of entry

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials recently had their first discovery of a rare insect in Otay Mesa, California, just south of San Diego.

CBP agriculture specialists at the port’s cargo facility were conducting an inspection of a commercial shipment of fresh celery from Mexico when they discovered a live lepidoptera.

Lepidoptera is an order of insects that includes butterflies and moths. The lepidoptera was identified by officials as an actionable Copitarsia species, insects not known to inhabit the U.S. 

Whenever actionable pests are detected in imported goods, the shipments must be disinfested, destroyed or returned to the country of origin. In this case, the truck driver and shipment were  returned to Mexico.

Although it was not the first time this insect was found in the U.S., it was a first-time discovery at the Otay Mesa port of entry.

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