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Status Report: Cross-Border Trucking Program with Mexico

June 28, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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Nearly two years after the United States and Mexico agreed to resume a long-haul cross-border pilot trucking program between the two countries, the amount of participation by Mexican operations continues increasing, but only slowly and far from what federal officials hoped to see.

This week the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comments on allowing Sergio Tristan Maldonado, doing business as Tristan Transfer, to participate in the program after having cleared its Pre-Authorization Safety Audit by federal officials.

The operation is one of two from south of the border that have passed their PASA and are waiting to get operating authority. One other that is also waiting has its PASA results listed as pending.

Since the program began with the first Mexican truck crossing in the fall of 2011, 12 Mexico-based carriers have been given operating authority. Seven of those have so called “provisional” authority, while the rest have “permanent” authority. RAM Trucking is the latest carrier to get authority, with one driver and one truck.

These 12 operations have a total of 44 drivers and 44 trucks that are allowed to participate.

FMCSA figures show they have made around 3,500 movements from Mexico to the interior of the U.S., while there have been more than 1,110 inspections.

FMCSA had earlier said it needs at least 46 Mexican carriers participating in order to reach its target of 4,100 inspections over three years to measure the safety performance of the program. So far, it is well short of that goal on both counts.

So far, driver out-of-service rates for all but one are zero, with the highest being 3.85% for one carrier.

The vehicle out-of service rate for two carriers is zero, one is below 5%, three are between 6% and 10%, three are between 11% and 20% with one above 21%.

Seven of the Mexican carriers operating in the program have received compliance reviews by FMCSA, with all getting satisfactory grades.

There are 17 Mexican carriers that have had their application dismissed by FMCSA to participate in the program or that have voluntarily withdrawn their applications.

The program is opposed heavily the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association and the Teamsters Union, along with public interest groups, all of whom have failed with court efforts to stop the program.

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