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Trucking companies from Mexico that take part in the United States cross-border freight pilot program are reporting an ability to provide faster service to customers and also possess more control of their own operations that previous alternatives, according to Transport Topics.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration runs the cross-border freight pilot program, which has given Mexican trucking companies the opportunity to make direct trips between countries.
Previously, an appeals court ruled that the program complied with federal law and allowed certain companies to continue to transport manufactured merchandise from Mexico to any location in the United States.
The program began in 2011 in order to conform with United States requirements under the North American Free Trade Agreement, which states that both countries grant access to each other’s trucks. That agreement ended a nearly $2.5 billion per year in punitive tariffs that Mexico had placed on goods from the United States because of cross-border obligations delay.
As part of the cross-border, long-haul program, the FMSCA uses GPS fleet tracking software provided by Teletrac in all trucks participating in the pilot. The FMSCA has stated that all Mexican carrier trucks that are part of the program must be equipped with GPS tracking and HOS electronic logbook software. Teletrac’s Fleet Director software provides a fully compliant monitoring platform for vehicles and drivers. By equipping each truck with a Teletrac GPS system, the FMCSA will be able to monitor Mexican drivers’ hours of service, the trucks’ locations and whether they are carrying freight from one U.S. location to another
Any Mexican carriers that are not part of the pilot program are limited to commercial zones at the border, where the must their manufactured goods to a United States carrier.
So far, there have only been 12 Mexican carriers fully admitted into the program, which highlights how difficult the FMSCA’s auditing process proves to be.
Each driver that a company will use in the program must be tested and every truck is inspected by a Department of Transportation investigator. Participants are subject to strict rules, including a proficiency in English for all drivers and that trucks meet 1998 emissions standards.
Mexico is the United States third-largest trading partner, according to the June 2013 version of the U.S. Census.
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