Posts Tagged “inspections”

Is Mexican Truck Pilot Program Falling Apart?

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Is the Mexican truck border program falling apart?  If so, that would be music to the ears of many, if not the majority in the trucking industry.  On the other hand, produce shippers and others will not be too happy.

As reported here on August 23rd, a federal audit would be coming soon on the cross-border pilot program involving Mexican based trucking companies being allowed to operate in the USA.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimated that 46 Mexican carriers would participate in the three-year pilot program.  The feds were planning to conduct 4,100 inspections during this time.  However, only four Mexican trucking companies have participated, involving only four trucks and five drivers.  A total of 89 inspections have been conducted by the FMCSA.  Ouch!

The controverisal program has created some strange bedfellows in trucking.  For example the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters seldom agree on much of anything.  However, they’ve tightly held hands fighting this issue based around fears that a flood of Mexican trucks in the USA will drive down freight rates, many of which are not much different from 20 years ago.  There also are concerns by owner operators over safety issues with Mexican equipment and lack of training among Mexican drivers.

Meanwhile produce shippers and others favoring Mexican trucking access to USA markets like the idea of greater competition leading to lower freight rates.

If the pilot program falls apart, with few Mexican trucking companies interested in participating, some produce shippers are concerned the Mexican government will re-implement tariffs of everything from apples to pears and potatoes – with some tariffs being as high as 20 percent.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), under which this pilot program is operating, requires the USA to permit cross-border trucking.  However, legal challenges over the years by American carrier groups have prevented Mexican trucks from operating north of the border for over 10 years.



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