Mexico's Top Fleets Battle Competition, Perception
Talk with executives at some of Mexico’s most modern large trucking fleets, and you’ll hear stories that make the challenges facing their U.S. counterparts seem more bearable.
There are major security concerns, not enough paved roads, an average fleet age dating to the turn of the century and a regulatory environment that can appear to benefit the “bad apples.”
Along with high diesel prices and maintenance costs, these fleets face rising expenses while battling misconceptions about their businesses.
For starters, they generally are not interested in full U.S. operating authority.
“We have had the trailer interchange program for the last 20 years, and we are very happy with it,” said Miguel Gomez, owner of Fletes Mexico, which offers less-than-truckload and dedicated fleet services. “Not being allowed to do cabotage in the United States takes all the interest out of it for me.”
That sentiment was shared by Ramón Medrano, director general of Frio Express, and Alex Theissen, director of logistics for FEMSA Logistica, who recently joined together to speak out about the need for Mexican government and industry reforms.
Their comments came as the Mexican freight market continues picking up steam, fueled by the production of new passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Mexico builds 35% of the commercial vehicles sold in North America and is the world’s fourth-largest exporter of commercial vehicles.
Frio Express is actively positioning itself to take advantage of these opportunities. Founded by Medrano’s father 25 years ago because “there was no real temperature control” in Mexico, Frio has long partnered with U.S.-based fleets that include Prime Inc., C.R. England and KLLM Transport Services on cross-border moves of frozen fruits, fresh berries and other perishables. That is in addition to its domestic operations.
“We have learned from the U.S. companies [we partner with], and we strive to be a world-class transportation company here,” Medrano said. “We think there is a lot still to learn, but we’ve grown to the point [where] we are the largest temperature-controlled fleet in Mexico.”
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|By Neil Abt|
© 2016, Transport Topics, American Trucking Associations Inc.
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