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Mexico remains the United States’ top trading partner. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Mexico’s trade with the United States rose to $567.81 billion through the first 11 months of 2019. As trade at the United States-Mexico border continues to expand, so do the opportunities available in the Landstar network.
“We started in the cross-border business in the 1990s and have seen tremendous growth, especially in the last three years, with the support of Landstar’s state-of-the-art U.S.- Mexico Logistics Service Center in Laredo, Texas,” explains Don Horne, founder of Transtar Logistics of TX, Inc., an independent Landstar agency. “Our agency finished 2019 up more than 50% in revenue compared to 2018. In my opinion, the overall growth potential in and out of Mexico currently outweighs domestic growth in the United States.”
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Laredo, Texas, is the busiest land gateway. BTS Freight Facts & Figures data on international freight gateways indicates 6.3 million trucks hauled 4.6 million loaded containers into the U.S. from Mexico in 2018, with Laredo accounting for 46.5% of the total transborder truck freight in the U.S.
“As the BTS data shows, thousands of commercial trucks cross the border through Laredo every day,” says Landstar Transportation Logistics Executive Vice President of Mexico Operations Eric Meyer. “The data shows us international trade grew considerably throughout 2019 and it does not appear to be slowing down. The data also shows us that trucks are the most common mode of transportation used to move Mexico imports and exports.”
Landstar’s U.S.-Mexico Logistics Service Center
“The Landstar logistics center in Laredo is very valuable to our agency,” says Kyle Horne, owner of Transtar Logistics of TX. “We hold customer meetings there and we have the support from the Landstar team in Laredo for any assistance we need to meet our customers’ expectations.”
The Landstar U.S.-Mexico Logistics Service Center is a highly secured, CTPAT certified site, featuring a 30-bay cross-dock, and transload facility with a custom 120-ton, stand-alone bridge crane dedicated to platform and heavy/specialized freight.
“Our cross-border facility allows independent agents to balance the needs of customers with shifts in available capacity to provide the best transportation solutions,” says Meyer. “Customers see the advantage of collaborating with Landstar on transloading shipments, both northbound and southbound, as an option to increase capacity and to ensure freight is moved in the most efficient way.”
Load Planning at the Border
Landstar business capacity owners (BCOs) also see the benefit of the opportunities and support available at Landstar’s U.S.-Mexico Logistics Service Center.
According to Landstar Transportation Logistics Vice President of Mexico Operations Steve Wisnieski, “Landstar’s average revenue per load, going in or coming out of Mexico, is hundreds of dollars higher than Landstar’s U.S. domestic loads. BCOs can grow their businesses with the load and transload opportunities in Laredo.”
Landstar BCO Magdaleno “Leno” Valdez, a million mile safe driver who leased to Landstar in 2002, says he keeps his business moving with both southbound and northbound load opportunities in Laredo.
“Just this week, I arrived at Landstar’s U.S.-Mexico Logistics Service Center in Laredo with a southbound load Tuesday and left with a northbound load Wednesday,” says Valdez. “I used to have a longer delay waiting for a northbound load, but with more freight and Landstar’s support booking northbound loads that is no longer the case.”
Before arriving at the U.S.-Mexico Logistics Service Center, BCOs are advised to ask the independent Landstar agent managing the load about any potential northbound opportunities.
“As a Landstar agency, we work closely with our customers and collaborate with other Landstar agents to help BCOs book northbound loads,” says Horne. “BCOs can find great northbound loads out of Laredo. All it takes is preplanning and communication before they head south.”
In addition to asking the Landstar agent about potential northbound loads, BCOs have access to Laredo’s BCO liaison for additional support finding northbound freight. Oftentimes, the BCO liaison can find the business capacity owner a northbound load before he or she even arrives in Laredo.
“Having that extra support from the BCO liaison helps me connect with the right agents who have the northbound loads I look for,” says Valdez. “Landstar’s support with cross-border freight helps keep my business going in the right direction.”