At the Border

| May 28, 2001

Major trucking companies that have operations in Mexico are excited about the prospect of an open border. “DOT concern over safety is overstated and can be properly satisfied,” Celadon’s Shatto says. “An open border would give additional capacity for our U.S. customers, and if we have more Mexican drivers, it frees up more of our U.S. drivers to serve our U.S. base.”

But even trucking executives say a seamless border is still a long way off. Rafael Varela, vice president of operations for TransMex, says, “The interest rates you have to pay when financing a truck here in Mexico are 30 percent. In the states, 10 percent to 15 percent is high. So it’s cheaper to buy American trucks. The drivers on each side of the border are not trained for the other’s countries. The truck spec’s are different. Maintenance would be different. U.S. trucks will get beaten up on Mexican roads.”

Shatto agrees. “I’m not convinced the infrastructure is in place, yet,” he says. “For five years it’s been on the back burner. No one has contemplated how they will manage the process. So it would take some time after they open the border to get things up and running.”

At the Border

| May 28, 2001

Major trucking companies that have operations in Mexico are excited about the prospect of an open border. “DOT concern over safety is overstated and can be properly satisfied,” Celadon’s Shatto says. “An open border would give additional capacity for our U.S. customers, and if we have more Mexican drivers, it frees up more of our U.S. drivers to serve our U.S. base.”

But even trucking executives say a seamless border is still a long way off. Rafael Varela, vice president of operations for TransMex, says, “The interest rates you have to pay when financing a truck here in Mexico are 30 percent. In the states, 10 percent to 15 percent is high. So it’s cheaper to buy American trucks. The drivers on each side of the border are not trained for the other’s countries. The truck spec’s are different. Maintenance would be different. U.S. trucks will get beaten up on Mexican roads.”

Shatto agrees. “I’m not convinced the infrastructure is in place, yet,” he says. “For five years it’s been on the back burner. No one has contemplated how they will manage the process. So it would take some time after they open the border to get things up and running.”

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