Stagecoach Cartage and Distribution, based in El Paso, Texas, has become the first U.S. carrier to haul a load into Mexico as part of the Bush administration’s cross-border trucking program.
A Stagecoach truck entered Mexico from the Nogales, Ariz., border crossing at 9 a.m. local time Sept. 14 on its way to Obregon, near Hermosillo, with a load of plastic resin, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced.
“We’re giving U.S. trucking companies the opportunity to compete in a new market that they have never before been allowed to penetrate,” said John H. Hill, head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. “These opportunities will help reduce costs for American consumers and businesses while increasing trade efficiency at the border and maintaining safety on America’s highways.”
While the cross-border trucking plan is controversial among American owner-operators, safety activists, Teamsters and members of Congress, among others, the DOT noted in its announcement that Mexican trucks entered the United States more than 4 million times in 2006 alone and that thousands of Mexican commercial trucks operate daily in U.S. border cities such as San Diego.
The first Mexican carrier to make the crossing in the other direction was Transportes Olympic, six days earlier. One of its trucks entered the United States on Sept. 8 at Laredo, Texas, bound for North Carolina with a load of steel that will be used to build a Baptist church.