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Borderlands: Mexico starts 2023 as top US trade partner

Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of U.S.-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Mexico starts 2023 as top U.S. trade partner; construction for new Texas commercial port of entry begins; transporter closes Texas terminal and cuts 60 jobs; and Kansas logistics company leases Texas distribution center.

Mexico starts 2023 as top U.S. trade partner

Mexico ranked as the United States’ top trading partner for the second consecutive month in January, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Mexico’s total trade with the U.S. increased 12% year over year (y/y) to $64 billion, compared to the same period in 2022. Mexico exported $27 billion in goods and services in January, while recording $37 billion in imports.

Canada ranked No. 2, as its total trade with the U.S. increased 9% y/y to $62 billion. China rated third with $51.3 billion.

The top U.S. exports to Mexico in January were gasoline and other fuels ($3 billion), motor vehicle parts ($1.6 billion), computer chips ($1.1 billion), liquified natural gas ($1 billion) and low value shipments ($788 million), according to census data analyzed by WorldCity.

The top American imports from Mexico were commercial vehicles ($3 billion), passenger vehicles ($2.9 billion), motor vehicle parts ($2.7 billion), computers ($2.3 billion) and oil ($1.6 billion).

The U.S.-Mexico port of entry in Laredo, Texas, rated No. 2 among the nation’s 450 airports, seaports and border crossings in January. Port Laredo’s trade increased 16% y/y to $25 billion.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport ranked No. 1 among U.S. gateways in January, accounting for $27 billion in trade. The Port of Los Angeles was third with $24 billion.

As of Friday, the freight market in Laredo was up about 5% in outbound load volume (OTVI.LRD) week over week after a huge spike in trade at the end of February, according to FreightWaves SONAR. On a y/y basis, Laredo’s outbound load volume is down 8%.

Outbound tender volumes in Laredo, Texas (OTVI.LRD) are just beginning to rebound after falling last week. (Chart: FreightWaves SONAR) To learn more about SONAR, click here.

Construction for new Texas commercial port of entry begins

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced construction has started on a project to turn the Anzalduas International Bridge in McAllen, Texas, into a full commercial port of entry.

As part of the CBP’s Donations Acceptance Program (DAP), the project will equip the Anzalduas land port of entry with infrastructure improvements and additions to support both southbound and northbound commercial vehicles.

The bridge, which opened in 2009, is located on the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley and is currently only open to passenger vehicles and empty commercial trucks driving southbound into Mexico. It is owned and operated by the cities of McAllen, Mission and Hidalgo.

The new southbound facilities will add a primary outbound inspection booth, eight commercial secondary inspection bays, an exit and control booth, as well as an export/cargo processing office.

The new northbound additions will be located on the east side of the facility and will include 30 secondary inspection bays, cargo processing and administrative offices, an operations command center, a Free and Secure Trade (FAST) lane dedicated for the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), a hazmat facility, a U.S. Department of Transportation inspection facility, as well as ancillary structures and other improvements to enhance operations.

“With the continued increase of imports from Mexico, having these additional spaces and improvements will have a significant positive impact on our ability to expedite the processing time and get shipments on their way into U.S. commerce,” Carlos Rodriguez, director of the Port of Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas, said in a news release.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2025.

Transporter closes Texas terminal, cuts 60 jobs 

SNL Distribution Services Corp. recently announced it is permanently closing a distribution center in Denton, Texas, and laying off 60 employees.

The Birmingham, Alabama-based company said the closure is related to losing a customer contract, according to a WARN notice filed with the Texas Workforce Commission. The facility will close by March 31. 

SNL Distribution Services Corp. offers refrigerated and dry van transportation. The company operates 582 trucks and employs 700 drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Kansas logistics company leases Texas distribution center

Wichita, Kansas-based Hayes Co. has rented a 900,000-square-foot industrial building in Forney, Texas, about 28 miles east of Dallas.

The building features a 40-foot-clearance height and 101 parking spaces for trailers. The distribution center in Forney is the company’s third location in the Dallas area. Hayes Co. also has two distribution centers in the nearby city of Mesquite. 

Hayes Co., founded in 1979, offers freight consolidation, purchase-order management, order fulfillment and third-party packaging services. The company serves clients in the retail and e-commerce sectors.

Watch: February employment numbers outpace expectations.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Noi Mahoney.

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