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Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of U.S.-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: A cyberattack disrupts Mexico’s transportation systems; Heniff Transportation acquires a Texas tanker carrier; Bendix to expand production in Mexico and the CBP seizes $24 million in drugs at a California port of entry.

Cyberattack disrupts Mexico’s transportation systems

Mexico’s transportation ministry has stopped issuing new permits, license plates and driver’s licenses for commercial truck operators until Dec. 31 because of a cyberattack in late October, creating possible delays for transporters.

The Secretariat of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation (SICT) made the announcement Tuesday in the federal government’s official periodical. SICT tweeted that on Oct. 24 its servers were hacked, stating “the Cyber Incident Management and Contingency Plan was activated and investigations are ongoing.”

SICT has not disclosed what information or data was targeted but said “the malicious software attack did not damage the agency’s systems or compromise the personal data of citizens,” according to a news release. “One of these preventive measures to contain the spread of malicious software was the temporary suspension of systems so that their services would not be compromised, avoid serious violations and even possible theft of information.”

Officials for Mexico’s trucking industry said SICT’s decision to delay issuing new permits and licenses could hurt the country’s domestic supply chain, as well as cross-border trade with the United States.

“In cross-border transportation services, the American authority has the power to request the driver’s license — not having the registration of the procedure and the current document, supposes a large number of drivers and trucks that would be losing all opportunity to operate,” according to a news release from Mexico’s National Chamber of Freight Transport (CANACAR). 

CANACAR said freight transport is the main mode of transport of goods and merchandise across Mexico. 

“It contributes 3.3% of the national gross domestic product, 81% of domestic cargo, representing direct and indirect jobs for more than 6 million people,” CANACAR said. “It [also] moves 84% ​​of trade between Mexico and the U.S.”

Heniff Transportation acquires Texas tanker carrier

Heniff Transportation Systems recently announced it has acquired the corporate holding company of tank truck operator Coal City Cob Co. Inc.

Based in Waxahachie, Texas, Coal City Cob provides liquid bulk transportation services to the chemical and hazardous waste industries. The company operates 302 trucks with over 230 drivers and 500 trailers. Coal City Cob has terminals in Dallas, Chicago, Cincinnati and Geismar, Louisiana.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

Based in Oak Brook, Illinois, the Heniff family of companies provide liquid bulk transportation services. They operate 2,000 tractors and 5,000 trailers through a network of more than 100 locations throughout the country. 

Bendix to expand production in Mexico 

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems has begun construction on a 185,000-square-foot production facility at its operation in Acuna, Mexico, according to a news release.

The plant will use automated manufacturing processes to produce global scalable brake controls and global scalable air treatments. Bendix manufactures auto parts used in commercial trucks.

The new factory is scheduled to be completed in 2023 and will create 200 jobs. The new facility will join three Bendix manufacturing plants and a logistics center on the company’s Acuña campus, which manufactures everything from anti-lock braking systems, air dryers, compressors, valves and actuators to integrated vehicle modules.

Bendix is based in Avon, Ohio. Some of the company’s customers include Freightliner, Kenworth and other heavy-duty truck manufacturers.

CBP seizes $24M in drugs at California port of entry

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers recently intercepted over 2.2 tons of narcotics within a span of two days from the Otay Mesa port of entry just south of San Diego.

The first incident occurred Oct. 20 when CBP officers were inspecting a shipment of green onions from Mexico. Officers reportedly discovered 1,529 pounds of methamphetamine hidden inside the load. The narcotics are worth an estimated $3.3 million.

Two days later CBP officers were inspecting a shipment of electronic goods arriving from Mexico when they reportedly found 1,993 pounds of methamphetamine and 1,037 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $20.8 million.

The total estimated street value for both seizures is $24.2 million. The cases were turned over to Homeland Security.

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