Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Mexico considers law banning all double tractor-trailer trucks; Dynacraft finalizing relocation of plant to Texas; QSL opens new marine terminal on the Houston Ship Channel; El Paso border agents bust two commercial trucks for carrying narcotics.
Mexico considers another law banning all double tractor-trailer trucks
A new bill proposed in Mexico's legislature would ban all double tractor-trailer trucks from the nation's roads.
Ricardo Monreal, a senator from Zacatecas, Mexico, presented a bill Wednesday "to remove all trucks with double trailers from the country's roads" without exception.
"Every day, the lives of a large number of Mexican families are put at risk and [double trucks] cause the death of more than 1,200 people annually," Monreal said on the floor of the Mexican legislature.
In Mexico, there are around 600,000 tractor-trailers on the road, according to data from Mexico's Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT), of which 8% are "doubles."
Monreal proposed reforming Mexico's Roads, Bridges and Federal Motor Transportation law to "prohibit the movement of trucks or tractors with double semi-trailer, double trailer or double articulated in urban, rural, highway and federal roads from the country."
Monreal's bill would also empower Mexico's secretary of Public Safety and Protection to remove double tractor-trailers from traffic when they fail to comply with the traffic ban.
Monreal joins a growing list of politicians in Mexico pushing for bans or restrictions on the use of double tractor-trailers in the country.
In August, Mexican legislator Carlos Elhier Cinta Rodríguez proposed a nationwide bill aiming at bringing the gross vehicle weight of double tractor-trailers from 75.5 tons (151,000 pounds) to 66.5 tons (131,000 pounds), with a gradual reduction in weight taking place over an eight-year period.
In October, legislator Claudia Centeno proposed prohibiting the use of double tractor-trailer vehicles on Mexican federal highway 110, near the city of Colima in central Mexico.
Claudia Aguirre, a legislator from the state of Colima, has also pushed for a ban on double tractor-trailers, saying they "saturate the roads when moving goods to and from the Port of Manzanillo" along Mexico's Pacific Coast.
So far, none of the bills or proposals have gained traction in Mexico's congress. Monreal's proposal is still being considered by Mexican lawmakers.
Dynacraft finalizing relocation of plant, 140 jobs to new facility in Texas
Dynacraft has begun the planned closure and relocation of a trucking parts facility in Algona, Washington, to McKinney, Texas, according to a state WARN listing released Feb. 4.
The plant's closure, which will begin in stages May 1, will ultimately affect 140 employees in Algona. PACCAR has begun operations at a new manufacturing facility in McKinney, a Dallas-area suburb.
Dynacraft is a division of Bellevue, Washington-based truck maker PACCAR. The 83,000-square-foot facility in Algona provides components, kits and assemblies for PACCAR's Seattle‐area and Mexico truck factories.
The McKinney facility opened in October 2018. The 184,000-square-foot facility assembles steer axles, fuel tanks and subassemblies for PACCAR's truck plants.
Under an agreement with the McKinney Economic Development Corp., PACCAR is expected to bring 200 jobs to the city over the next six years and make investments of more than $20 million at the site.
PACCAR, through its subsidiary Kenworth Truck Co., has a manufacturing plant in Mexicali, a city in northern Mexico.
QSL opens new marine terminal at on the Houston Ship Channel
QSL, an international maritime terminal operator, is expanding with a new terminal along the Houston Ship Channel in southeast Texas.
Quebec City, Canada-based QSL has expanded in the Houston area with a marine terminal at the South Central Cement Ltd. ship terminal facility, with a deep draft of 11 and 9 meters.
The facility will be called QSL Texas Terminals, and it is now offering clients access to the central U.S. via the Mississippi River. QSL officials said the location is a "highly strategic presence is the first phase of a deployment into the Gulf of Mexico for North America."
"We are paving the way for promising synergies through intermodality and we are consolidating our leadership that today goes far beyond our borders," Robert Bellisle, president and CEO of QSL, said in a release.
QSL Texas Terminals now has two operations in the Houston area, including access to South Central Cement Ltd. ship terminal with Compas Marine on the Houston Ship Channel for the loading and unloading of barges and ships.
QSL's other facility on the Houston Ship Channel is a 140,000-square-foot warehouse and 430,000-square-feet of outdoor storage space in Pasadena, Texas.
The warehouse opened in October 2019 and provides services for shipments of steel, metals, lumber, project cargo, paper, cotton and general cargo. It is served by rail by the Port Terminal Railroad Association, which switches to the Union Pacific and BNSF railroads, and serves the Kansas City Southern Railroad for all freight to and from Mexico.
El Paso border agents bust two commercial trucks carrying $2 million worth of marijuana
In El Paso, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 2,633.9 pounds of marijuana in two separate busts valued at approximately $2.1 million.
The first drug bust was made around Jan. 31 when a commercial truck passed through El Paso's Bridge of the Americas port from Mexico carrying a load of aluminum foil.
A CBP officer referred the vehicle for an X-ray and an intensive inspection. A CBP K-9 alerted officers to the presence of narcotics.
Bundles of marijuana were discovered co-mingled with boxes of aluminum foil. A total of 626 bundles were discovered with a weight of 1,056.5 pounds.
CBP officers said the X-ray inspection yielded positive anomalies and a K-9 detected the presence of narcotics. A total of 419 bundles of marijuana was discovered.
"The cargo environment is challenging as the varying types of vehicles and commodities provide smugglers numerous places to hide contraband," Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso director of field operations, said. "The layered enforcement approach CBP utilizes helped in making these seizures. Drug-sniffing dogs, high technology and officer expertise all contributed to this enforcement action."
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