Borderlands: Volkswagen Taos starts production in Mexico; Lalamove launches delivery services in Dallas

Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Volkswagen Taos starts production in Mexico; Lalamove launches delivery services in Dallas; Dachser Mexico expands in Querétaro; and OmniTRAX grows in South Texas.

Volkswagen starts production of new SUV line in Mexico

Volkswagen AG (U.S. OTC: VLKAF) revealed its new Taos subcompact SUV on Tuesday and announced that the vehicle will be produced at its plant in Mexico.

The 2022 Taos will arrive in showrooms in the summer of 2021. The vehicle joins the Jetta, Golf, Golf GTI and Tiguan, which are also assembled at the German automaker’s plant in San José Chiapa in Puebla state.

Officials with Volkswagen de México said it has invested $2.5 billion in Mexico over the last 10 years, including $400 million in the production of the new Taos model.

“This is a sign of the confidence that Volkswagen has in Mexico and in the Puebla plant,” said Steffen Reiche, CEO of Volkswagen de Mexico, during a press conference Tuesday.

Reiche said the production of the new Taos included expanding the plant in San José Chiapa by 32,290 square feet, as well as adding new tooling machinery, the integration of more than 354 industrial robots and two new laser welding booths.

Olivia Salomón, the secretary of economy for the state of Puebla, Mexico, discusses the new VW Taos during a press event Tuesday. (Photo: Gobierno de Puebla)

The Volkswagen plant in San José Chiapa employs about 7,000 people. Audi, Volkswagen’s luxury car brand, also has a production plant in San José Chiapa. Volkswagen and Audi have more than 20,000 total autoworkers in Mexico, according to the company. 

Volkswagen and Audi have begun shipping Mexican-made cars from the Pacific Coast Port of Lázaro Cárdenas to California, according to Susanne Lehmann, Volkswagen’s director for production in the North American Region.

“Today we started our shipments from the Port of Lázaro Cárdenas to California – making transports faster, cheaper and safer,” Lehmann said in a LinkedIn post on Thursday. “All this was done with a huge team of transport and handling companies, port authorities, customs agents and a cross-functional team at Volkswagen and Audi.” 

Volkswagen and Audi have mostly used rail and trucks to ship cars north from Mexico through ports of entry in Laredo and San Diego.

A potential factor may be ongoing rail blockades that have been disrupting supply chains throughout Mexico since July.

Shipping company Maersk and Kansas City Southern De Mexico both reported delays moving cargo to the Port of Lázaro Cárdenas earlier this month.

Lalamove launches delivery services in Dallas-Fort Worth area

Same-day delivery service provider Lalamove recently launched in the Dallas-Fort Worth area aiming for small to midsize businesses (SMBs), according to a press release.

Hong Kong-based Lalamove is a technology company that provides on-demand, same-day and advance order delivery services by connecting users with delivery drivers on its mobile and web apps, according to its website.

“Delivery is essential, especially during the pandemic. But many local businesses don’t have or cannot afford in-house fleets, so we’re excited to work with businesses in the Dallas Fort-Worth area to provide same-day, on-demand delivery services to their customers,” said Blake Larson, international managing director at Lalamove, in a release.

Lalamove’s delivery fleet in the Dallas-Fort Worth area currently includes sedans, SUVs and pickup trucks. 

The company operates in 22 markets in Asia, Latin America and North America. Lalamove was founded in 2013.

Dachser Mexico to expand warehouse facility in Querétaro

Dachser Mexico, a subsidiary of global logistics provider Dachser, recently expanded its bonded warehouse facility located in Querétaro, Mexico.

Located in the Parque el Marqués industrial park in Querétaro, the state-of-the-art expanded warehouse launched Oct. 1, according to Edgardo Hamon, managing director of Dachser Mexico.

“This newly expanded bonded warehouse facility in Querétaro will provide a competitive advantage to companies of all sizes and demonstrates Dachser Mexico’s continued commitment to the growth of this vital economic region,” Hamon said. “As Mexico’s manufacturing sector continues to grow, we are elevating our investment in the market to ensure supply chain fluidity in the region.” 

Dachser’s warehouse in Querétaro uses Mikado, the company’s proprietary global warehouse management system. The facility also offers 43,055 square feet of total warehouse space with an electrical substation on premises. 

Dachser is a global logistics provider based in Kempten, Germany. The company has 375 locations in 44 countries and employs 30,609 people. In 2019, Dachser handled 83.7 million shipments. 

OmniTRAX expands in South Texas

OmniTRAX Inc. is bringing its Rail-Ready Sites program to the Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railway (BRG) in South Texas.

Working with the Greater Brownsville Economic Development Corp. (GBEDC), OmniTRAX will market three initial sites on the BRG totaling 50 acres. The Rail-Ready Sites program connects companies looking to improve their supply chain by locating on rail-served property.

The BRG will focus on attracting advanced and heavy industries, including automotive assembly and parts manufacturing, aerospace component manufacturing, metals recycling, port-related industries and large-scale manufacturing, as well as energy and logistics, OmniTRAX officials said in a release.

“The attractiveness of Brownsville for both manufacturers and logistics starts with its comprehensive infrastructure network and continues with very pro-business state and local governments,” said Federico Diaz Page, economic development director at OmniTRAX.

The short line — which serves the Port of Brownsville along the Gulf of Mexico — interchanges with Union Pacific Railroad, BNSF Railway Co. and Kansas City Southern de Mexico.

The Port of Brownsville is a deep-water seaport located along the United States-Mexico border, making the port a major trade channel between Texas and Mexico.

“Brownsville offers companies a great location with access to Latin America via rail, highway and sea, and has a cost of doing business that is 20% lower than the rest of the country,” said Mario Lozoya, executive director and chief executive officer of the GBEDC.

Denver-based OmniTRAX is a transportation and transportation infrastructure holding company. It primarily owns and operates railroads, with a network of 21 regional and shortline railroads in 12 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces. 

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