Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Mission Produce to open vast avocado distribution center in Laredo; RCR Rail Co. marks groundbreaking for new Taylor Logistics Park; Daimler Trucks Mexico appoints first female plant manager in Saltillo; CBP seizes 577 of pounds marijuana from shipment of plastic scrap.
Mission Produce to open vast avocado distribution center in Laredo, Texas
Mission Produce will build a 262,000-square-foot distribution center in Laredo, Texas, filling a need for a major production hub for avocado imports from Mexico, according to Steve Barnard, president and chief executive officer of Mission Produce.
Construction of the state-of-the-art, $48 million facility could be completed by mid-2021 and will initially create 75 jobs.
“The Laredo facility will shorten our replenishment time to our network and add flexibility in managing inventory,” Barnard said.
Mission Produce’s new cold storage, manufacturing and distribution center will be in Laredo’s Pinnacle Industry Center on North Mines Road.
The facility will also improve Mission Produce’s ability to provide third-party services to other businesses in the produce industry, company officials said.
Cold storage is one of the target industries for Port Laredo, through which close to $4 billion in produce — including about $1 billion in avocados alone — passed in 2019, Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz said in a release.
“Mission Produce’s decision to invest in Laredo speaks volumes for Laredo’s international trade and logistics industry, which has made the city the number one port in the country,” Saenz said.
Oxnard, California-based Mission Produce is a 35-year-old company and one of the largest global suppliers of avocados.
Mission Produce’s avocados bound for Laredo will mostly come from the Mexican state of Michoacán, where it has farms producing 4.8 billion pounds of avocados annually, according to the company’s website.
However, the company sources avocados from all over the world, said Denise Junquiero, director of marketing at Mission Produce.
“We work directly with top growers and are vertically integrated in premier growing regions,” Junquiero said. “We source from California, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Chile, New Zealand and the Dominican Republic with full in-country support and representation to make sure all of our quality and food safety standards are met to provide year-round supply.”
Along with the U.S. market, Mission also exports avocados from its Mexico facilities to Japan, Europe, China, Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.
Junquiero said the company plans to support “our new Laredo facility with our own fleet of trucks, as well as trucks from our trusted carrier partners.”
“Mission has trucks that cross every day to all nine of our current freight distribution centers in North America. Laredo will become our 10th facility scaled to provide flexibility and faster service to our customers’ changing needs,” Junquiero said.
RCR Rail Co. marks groundbreaking for new Taylor Logistics Park
RCR Rail Co. is set to build a 750-acre rail park in central Texas, around 40 miles northwest of Austin.
The new Taylor Logistics Park, which is scheduled to be completed in September, will serve the manufacturing, storage and logistics industries. It will offer direct access to two Class 1 railroads: BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific.
The park will also offer trucking transload access to state highways 70 and 130 and Interstate 35. The park will include rail and nonrail commercial sites with building sizes ranging from 50,000 to 1 million square feet.
According to an RCR press release, national and international firms are looking to consolidate to central Texas at RCR Taylor Logistics Park.
“Rail is a major player for corporations looking to move product effectively and in large quantities,” according to the press release. “Rail access is particularly relevant to industries who rely on materials, like construction. For companies not located on a rail line such as lumber, steel and concrete components, they have to pay for more expensive methods of transportation.”
Reducing truck traffic and pollution on Texas highways is another benefit of the new rail logistics park, officials said.
“Every company utilizing rail shipping is helping reduce truck traffic and pollution for all,” according to RCR Rail. “One rail car is equivalent to four trucks helping to reduce highway congestion too.”
For the first time, a woman will direct the Daimler truck plant in Saltillo, Mexico
Daimler Trucks Mexico recently appointed Jane Rosaasen as the new general manager for the Daimler factory in Saltillo, Mexico.
Rosaasen becomes the first female director for the plant, which produces Daimler’s Freightliner Cascadia Class 8 trucks. Rosaasen will take over the factory in October, succeeding George Ferro, who is retiring.
Rosaasen will be the fourth director of the Daimler factory in Saltillo since it opened in 2009. More than 3,000 people work at the factory, which assembles 200 trucks per day.
Rosaasen was previously the general manager at Daimler’s Mount Holly Truck Manufacturing Plant in Mount Holly, North Carolina.
She began her career with Chrysler and has held a variety of leadership positions at Daimler Trucks North America, including director of human resources at Daimler Commercial Vehicles Mexico and director of production at the Cleveland Truck Manufacturing Plant.
Rosaasen has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario and an applied leadership certificate from IMD School of Business in Lausanne, Switzerland.
CBP seizes 577 of pounds marijuana from shipment of plastic scrap
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the World Trade Bridge recently seized marijuana found hidden inside a commercial trailer.
The incident occurred Monday at the cargo facility at the bridge in Laredo, Texas.
CBP officers encountered a commercial shipment of plastic scrap arriving from Mexico. The shipment was referred for a canine and X-ray system inspection, resulting in the discovery of 25 packages containing about 577 pounds of alleged marijuana concealed within the trailer.
The alleged marijuana has a street value of $115,344.
CBP seized the narcotics and trailer, and the case was turned over to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations.