Mexican businessman calls for border trucking reform

| Monday, April 17, 2006

A leading Mexican businessman is calling for fewer controls on cross-border trucking between Mexico and the United States.

Cross-border trucking has enhanced shipping at the U.S.-Canadian border for decades, but the practice is viewed differently at the U.S border with Mexico. Mexican carriers must hand off the loads to drayage carriers to deliver to U.S. destinations.

Eugenio Clariond Reyes, CEO of Grupo Imsa, is hoping the governments will reach an agreement someday and implement cross-border trucking between Mexico and the U.S., according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Big differences in regulations and ongoing Teamsters opposition to lower-paid Mexican haulers have kept cross-border trucking with Mexico a fantasy, the Express-News reported.

Reyes said in a speech in San Antonio that drayage hauling adds shipping costs to products. He used the example of a truckload shipment costing $19 to cross the U.S.-Canadian border. A similar truckload leaving Mexico could incur a $300 cost to cross into the U.S.

Grupo Imsa made $3.6 billion last year, he said, with 40 percent of those sales occurring in the U.S. marketplace.

Mexico is scheduled to have a federal election July 2, and cross-border trucking and trade with the U.S. could be important campaign issues.

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