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Home > Feature Articles > Logistics and Vehicle Fleet Management > Trucking & Logistics for Efficiency, Fuel Savings, and Air Quality

Border Shipping Faces BIG Changes in Mexican Trucking

Logistics are shifting as Union Pacific starts an inland port in San Antonio that will serve midAmerica and Canada

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August 28, 2007 -- Union Pacific plans to build a $90 million intermodal rail terminal alongside Interstate 35 in San Antonio to establish San Antonio as a NAFTA inland port. The San Antonio terminal will process more than 100,000 truck trailers annually when completed in 2008, with the capacity to grow to a potential of 250,000 trailers and containers per year. See details about the San Antonio NAFTA inland port

The Free Trade Alliance San Antonio was created in 1994 as a trade group dedicated to promoting the development of San Antonio as a world trade inland port. The group credits congestion as the reason for this major inland port. "congestion in U.S. West Coast ports combined with poor rail service has led to a virtual choking of Chinese exports into the United States."

the new terminal will give truckers the option to drop off their containers with easy access from I-10 and I-35, accommodating in San Antonio many trucks that now must go through the city to Houston to drop off containers for trains bound for other destinations.

San Antonio is working with alternative ports in Mexico (Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas) and on the Texas Gulf Coast (such as Houston and Corpus Christi) to offer Chinese exporters a competitive and time-efficient alternative to their traditional distribution routes through California. The Union Pacific terminal was strategically located to ship and receive containers from West Coast ports such as Los Angeles and Long Beach, as well as Mexican ports such as Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas.

Kansas City SmartPort also has declared itself an inland port but with intentions to open a Mexican customs office in Kansas City.

Union Pacific sees itself as a North American railroad that connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico.

Burns told WND, "International trade is growing at an unprecedented rate in our community and we are pleased that Union Pacific is investing $90 million to build a world-class intermodal rail yard to process freight in and out of our city."

The Free Trade Alliance San Antonio is a member of the North American Inland Port Network, which has been incorporated as a subcommittee into the North America's SuperCorridor Coalition, or NASCO, the Dallas-based trade group supporting the development of NAFTA and WTO-related trade along Interstates 35, 29 and 94. Other members include AllianceTexas, Kansas City SmartPort, the city of Winnipeg, The Central Mexico Inland Ports Initiative, and Iowa Inland Port.

Kansas City SmartPort also intends to open a Mexican customs office in Kansas City.

Containers entering the U.S. through Mexican ports such as Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas would utilize cheaper Mexican dock workers instead of the longshoremen who work at West Coast ports such as Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The Wall Street Journal reported in March that Princeton economics professor Alan S. Blinder, the former Federal Reserve vice chairman who advised President Clinton to push through the passage of NAFTA, now estimates the U.S. could lose up to 40 million jobs to outsourcing over the next two decades as the country transforms into a service economy.

Conferences About Intermodal Options

Additionally, the Alliance has scheduled in October its second annual Business Conference China, second annual Mexican Business Leaders meeting, and the third annual Inland Ports Conference.


Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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