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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: Production, exports of Mexican-made trucks soar in November; Penske Logistics to open major facility in Houston; ShipMonk opens e-commerce fulfillment center in North Texas; and $100M worth of meth seized at border checkpoint.

Production, exports of Mexican-made heavy-duty trucks skyrocket in November

Mexican heavy-duty truck manufacturing and exports both climbed almost 50% year over year (y/y) in November, a sign that supply chain issues are stabilizing, according to Miguel Elizalde, president of Mexico’s National Association of Bus, Truck and Tractor Producers (ANPACT).

During the month, the 14 truck makers that are members of ANPACT manufactured 17,491 heavy vehicles, a 47.3% y/y increase compared to 2021. Exports of trucks increased 47% y/y to 14,235 units.

“We have maintained a very good level of production,” Elizalde said during a video news conference Monday. “We have positive figures since we are in full economic reactivation, but perhaps we will fall short of breaking the 2019 record. The accumulated growth that we have observed in exports and production is due in part to improvements in the supply chain, in addition to the economic recovery. We hope that by 2023, if these averages are maintained, we will have new record production and export figures.”

Truck makers and parts manufacturers with assembly plants and factories in Mexico include Freightliner, Kenworth, Navistar, Hino, International, DINA, MAN SE, Mercedes-Benz, Isuzu, Scania, Cummins and Detroit Diesel.

The U.S. was the main destination for trucks produced in Mexico in November, accounting for 94.4% of exports, followed by Canada (2.4%) and Colombia (1.7%).

Freightliner was the top truck producer and exporter in Mexico for the month. The company built 9,884 trucks, a 67.8% y/y increase, and exported 8,781, a 70.6% y/y jump. 

International Trucks Inc. produced 5,232 units in November, a 25% y/y increase, and exported 4,7469, a 23.3% y/y rise.

Kenworth manufactured 1,408 units in the month, a 14.6% y/y increase, and exported 692 trucks, a 3.2% y/y uptick.

Kenworth produced 1,173 units during the month, an 8% y/y decline compared to the same year-ago period. The company exported 494 trucks, a 6% y/y increase over October 2021.

Penske Logistics to open major facility in Houston

Supply chain solutions provider Penske Logistics recently signed a lease for a 604,000-square-foot facility in southeast Houston, according to the Houston Chronicle

The logistics and warehousing facility will be located at the South Belt Central Business Park development, located about 20 miles from Port Houston and the Houston Ship Channel.

The facility, expected to open in January, will create about 100 jobs. Once operational, it will be Penske’s largest facility in the Houston area. The building will include 36-foot clearance height for tractor-trailers and 196 trailer parking spaces.

Reading, Pennsylvania-based Penske Logistics provides commercial transportation services, warehousing and distribution solutions, as well as used truck sales. The company boasts a network of 880 locations in North America with 36,000 employees.

ShipMonk opens e-commerce fulfillment center in North Texas

E-commerce solutions provider ShipMonk announced it has opened a fulfillment center in Fort Worth, Texas.

The 250,000-square-foot facility represents the 11th location in ShipMonk’s international network of fulfillment centers and aims to provide ground shipping solutions in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for new and existing e-commerce clients.

The Fort Worth fulfillment center includes 39 loading docks and temperature-controlled storage.

“Expanding our global operation creates greater opportunities for e-commerce business owners to lower shipping costs and shorten delivery times,” Jan Bednar, ShipMonk founder and CEO, said in a news release

Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, ShipMonk employs more than 2,000 across facilities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe.

$100M worth of meth seized at Texas border checkpoint

U.S. Border Patrol agents in Texas recently made the third-largest methamphetamine bust in the agency’s history, officials said.

The arrest occurred Dec. 8, when Border Patrol agents at the agency’s Falfurrias checkpoint in South Texas stopped a tractor-trailer hauling a shipment of household cleaning products to perform an immigration inspection of the driver.

The agents discovered 1,440 bottles filled with liquid meth instead of the labeled household cleaning solution. The drugs weighed more than 3,000 pounds and have a street value of nearly $100 million.

“This historical seizure is a prime example of our agents’ efforts to continuously impact and degrade transnational criminal organizations exploiting the Rio Grande Valley,” Gloria Chavez, Rio Grande Valley sector chief patrol agent, said in a statement.

Watch: How does the supply chain affect Christmas?

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