Borderlands: Logistics provider expands operations in Laredo

Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: JAMCO Group expands in Laredo; BTL picks Mexico for new auto parts plant; G-Global expands in El Paso; and agents seize $40 million in drugs in Texas and California.

Jamco Group expands operations in Laredo

The JAMCO Group, planning for an expansion of U.S.-Mexico trade, recently signed a long-term lease to occupy 500,000-square-feet at the Port Grande Logistics Port in Laredo, Texas.

The Laredo-based global logistics provider will move into its new space at Port Grande Logistics Port by June 1. 

“Primarily, we’re going to be using it as a distribution hub for the automotive industry,” Rahul Oltikar, JAMCO Group’s chief operating officer, told FreightWaves. “This will be for U.S. finished product coming north from maquiladoras in Mexico, and then we’ll be distributing the products to dealers and distribution centers up in the U.S.”

Maquiladoras are foreign-owned assembly plants in Mexico that import machinery and materials duty-free and export finished products around the world. A large number of the plants are U.S.-owned and located in areas close to the U.S.-Mexico border.

JAMCO’s cross-border business could expand between 10% and 20% with the new facility, and the company could hire up to 50 new employees, Oltikar said.

The company already leases a 250,000-square-foot space off of Interstate 69 West near Laredo’s trade bridge. Jamco was founded in 1994 and is a non-asset-based provider of trade, global freight forwarding and brokerage services.  

JAMCO primarily provides cross-border services among the U.S., Mexico and South America, in the automotive, produce and vegetables, medical, electrical, steel, oil and gas, and industrial industries.

“With the additional 500,000-square-feet, our total footprint will be around 750,000 in Laredo,” Oltikar said. “Along the U.S.-Mexico border we’ll be approaching a million square feet. We have branch offices in McAllen and El Paso, Texas; San Diego and Calexico, California.”

The Port Grande Logistics Port is a 2,000-acre master planned logistics port in Laredo, located just east of Interstate 35 on Carriers Drive. It is about 10 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.

The port is a logistics hub from Los Angeles-area developer Majestic Realty Co. The company completed the acquisition of the 2,000-acre site from a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz in 2015.

Officials with Majestic Realty said Jamco will occupy all 500,000 square feet of a building that Majestic originally completed as a build-to-suit for Mattel Inc. The lease agreement removes what would have been a 30%-40% increase in the market’s available square footage, officials said. 

“This is more evidence of the ever-growing need for large warehousing distribution space in Laredo,” Kyle Valley, senior vice president with Majestic Realty, said in a statement. 

Majestic Realty recently announced a $1 billion expansion at Port Grande Logistics Port.

The long-term plan calls for six phases and 14 million-square-feet of spec industrial development, primarily distribution, warehouse and manufacturing space at the port.

BTL picks Mexico for new auto parts plant 

China-based auto parts maker BTL recently announced a $2.4 million factory near Saltillo, Mexico.

BTL will manufacture auto aluminum castings for braking and suspension safety systems, as well as automotive electrical parts. The plant will supply BTL customers in Mexico, the United States and Canada.

Saltillo is about 53 miles from Monterrey, Mexico, and 136 miles from Laredo.

G-Global expands in El Paso

G-Global, a cross-border customs and logistics company, is expanding its operation in El Paso.

The company has leased 38,400 square feet of industrial space at 9660 Joe Rodriguez Drive. The building is owned by Boston-based Equity Industrial Partners and New York-based Raith Capital Partners.

G-Global is a San Diego-based customs broker and freight forwarding company. It has more than 500 employees and has expanded its operations to all major ports on the U.S.-Mexico border, according to its website.

CBP agents seize $40M in drugs in Texas and California

In three recent cases, border agents in Texas and California stopped attempts to use commercial trucks to move cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine across the United States-Mexico border.

On Monday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Otay Mesa port of entry seized more than 12,000 pounds of marijuana found commingled within a shipment of papaya.

Otay Mesa is located on the California-Mexico border, around 20 miles south of San Diego. The marijuana has a street value of $27 million.

A CBP photo shows how the marijuana was hidden inside a shipment of papayas. (Photo: CBP)

On Feb. 21, CBP agents at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge in Pharr, Texas, discovered that a produce shipment from Mexico also contained $11.5 million worth of methamphetamine hidden inside an empty trailer.

On Feb. 18, agents working at the Starr-Camargo International Bridge in Rio Grande City, Texas, intercepted $1 million worth of cocaine from an otherwise empty trailer arriving from Mexico.

CBP seized the narcotics along with the tractor-trailers. In the Rio Grande City case, the driver was arrested and turned over to local authorities, according to CBP.

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