Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: More investment, manufacturing jobs for Mexico; new 3,000-acre logistics hub for Texas; TUM Logistics acquires 110 Kenworth tractors; and CBP seizes 6 kilos of DMT en route to Arkansas. 

More investment, manufacturing jobs for Mexico

Four companies recently announced big plans in Mexico, including a new factory and several major expansion projects.

Phillips Industries, Grupo Industrial Saltillo, Stanley Black & Decker Inc. and Whirlpool Corp. join a recent wave of companies spending money and creating manufacturing jobs south of the border.

The latest round of investments totals more than $200 million and will create 3,100 jobs.

Jorge Canavati, principal at J. Canavati & Co., said the recent investments by companies in Mexico are a “good example of regional economic integration.” 

J. Canavati & Co. is a San Antonio-based company that provides international logistics and trade consulting. Canavati is also chairman of the San Antonio chamber of the Global Chamber of Commerce.

“What is working is the U.S. economy is fired up on all cylinders and Mexico is the supplier,” Canavati told FreightWaves. “The United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement is a platform for all this to take place.” 

Stanley Black & Decker is moving forward with its new plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, according to real estate investment fund Fibra Nova.

“Fibra Nova has signed a 10-year lease agreement with Stanley Black & Decker for a $37 million, 499,000-square-foot building in Hermosillo, Sonora,” the company said in a Tuesday announcement.

Fibra Nova is a Mexican real estate investment fund based in Chihuahua City, Mexico.

New Britain, Connecticut-based Stanley Black & Decker is a manufacturer of industrial tools and household hardware. The company initially announced the $50 million Hermosillo facility in April. 

Stanley Black & Decker said the facility is expected to open by the end of the year and will employ about 1,800 people, according to a release. 

Whirlpool Corp. announced July 20 it is investing more than $110 million to expand its factory in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.

The Benton Harbor, Michigan-based company is adding 322,917 square feet to the facility to manufacture a new line of refrigerator doors.

Whirlpool’s investment will take place over three years and could add up to 1,000 jobs, according to Eduardo Elizondo, vice president of Whirlpool’s operation in Mexico.

“A large amount of what we are doing in Ramos Arizpe is for export for the United States and Canada,” Puente told news outlet Milenio. “We export to more than 100 countries from here and we want to continue expanding our horizons.”

Automotive parts supplier Phillips Industries announced July 22 it is investing $20 million to expand its plant in Arteaga, Mexico. The investment will expand the factory by 180,000 square feet and add 300 jobs.

Santa Fe Springs, California-based Phillips Industries manufactures advanced electrical and air brake system components for commercial trucks and trailers.

Automotive parts supplier Grupo Industrial Saltillo (GIS) announced July 22 an investment of $30 million to expand its plant in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. The expansion will create a new foundry line to manufacture brackets and calipers.

“A better outlook of the automotive industry for the rest of the year and 2022 have led us to make this announcement about this significant investment,” GIS CEO Manuel Rivera said in a statement

The company did not specify how many jobs the expansion will create. GIS is based in Saltillo, Mexico, and employs more than 9,000 people at 18 factories in Mexico, Europe and Asia. The company also has a distribution center in Laredo, Texas.

Deepak Chhugani, founder and CEO of Nuvocargo, said his company has been experiencing a huge increase in freight volumes in the automotive and food/beverage sectors in recent months.

Nuvocargo is a digital logistics platform for cross-border trade between the U.S. and Mexico.

“With peak produce season here, we expect this positive trend to hold and for exports to continue to grow in the months ahead,” Chhugani told FreightWaves. “We’ve seen this trend directly with our customers as our number of monthly shipments has grown more than 5x compared to the first half of 2020.”

New 3,000-acre logistics hub for South Texas

TNW Corp., a privately held operator of short line railroads and logistics centers, has been selected to co-develop a 3,000-acre inland logistics facility for the Port of Victoria.

Dallas-based TNW will work with the Victoria County Navigation District and provide the facility’s rail operations.

Located in Victoria, Texas, the port is a shallow-draft inland facility located in the southeast part of the state. The port offers shippers access to the Intracoastal Waterway, as well as rail and highway access to major Texas cities such as Houston, San Antonio and Austin.

“TNW’s industry knowledge and resources in railroading and logistics will add significant value for our customers, who will be able to take advantage of transportation and service options as our port grows and expands,” Port of Victoria Executive Director Sean Stibich said in a statement. 

TUM Logistics acquires 110 Kenworth tractors

Mexico City-based TUM Logistics recently added 110 Kenworth T680 tractors to the company’s fleet.

Miguel Quintanilla Hernández, vice president and general director of parent company Grupo TUM, said the units will be used for FedEx Express Mexico, one of TUM’s biggest clients in the country.

Grupo Transportistas Unidos Mexicanos, known as Grupo TUM, is one of the largest carriers in Mexico with a fleet of over 1,800 trucks, 2,500 trailers and 1,800 drivers. The company also has a cargo airline called TUM AeroCarga.

Memphis CBP seizes DMT en route to Arkansas

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered a shipment of the drug N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) at an express consignment hub in Memphis, Tennessee, in early June.

Officers were examining a package shipped from Mexico City described in the paperwork as “plant substrate premium grade horticult.” The shipment was headed to a residence in rural northeast Arkansas.

The shipment was tested by a lab and identified as DMT, weighing 6.1 kilos. The drugs have a street value of more than $200,000.

DMT can be used by researchers, but requires approval from both the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Food and Drug Administration. However, officers said this shipment was most likely meant for illicit use.

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