PAM Transportation CEO discusses plans after acquiring Celadon’s Laredo terminal

PAM Transportation CEO Daniel H. Cushman told FreightWaves during an interview Tuesday that his company’s trucking service to Mexico is “busting at the seams.”

“It is just a month into the year, but we are already 26% over where we were last year, so we are growing at a rapid pace,” Cushman said.

So when Celadon declared bankruptcy in December and it’s 53-acre trucking terminal at 13601 Mercury Drive in Laredo, Texas, came on the market, Cushman said PAM officials saw a great opportunity to expand.

PAM Transportation acquired the terminal for $19.8 million in January, according to a filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

“It’s a beautiful facility. When the property became available, we looked at it and one of the things that really appealed to us was the cross-docking facility at the Laredo Celadon terminal — it’s very, very large,” Cushman said.

The terminal is about 19 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, just off Interstate 35.

Celadon built the Laredo terminal in 2016. It includes a 130,464-square-foot, two-story warehouse, which includes 19,800 square feet of office space, as well as a one-story, 37,500-square-foot garage.

PAM Transportation’s new trucking terminal in Laredo will include a 130,464-square-foot office-warehouse and a 37,500-square-foot garage. Image: FreightWaves

“The new facility will allow us to increase trucking services in Mexico,” Cushman said. “I am not sure how many trucks, trailers or drivers we will have exactly at the new facility, but it will be a big increase over what we have in Laredo right now.”

PAM Transportation already owns a 23-acre cross-dock facility in Laredo at 317 Weathers Drive, around 11 miles from the new facility on Mercury Drive. 

“The Celadon facility is over 50 acres, so we are doubling our footprint size,” Cushman said.

He added that they will keep the facility on Weathers Drive, but may explore selling it in the future “if it’s right for us.”

PAM Transportation had around 30,000 cross-border freight shipments into Mexico last year. The company provides north- and southbound trucking services throughout Mexico, with more than 750 trailers in the country. PAM also has a customer service office in Monterrey, Mexico, and is a Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT)-certified carrier.

Cushman, who appeared on FreightWaves’ “Fuller Speed Ahead” show in October, said General Motors is one of PAM’s largest customers. But PAM has worked to diversify its portfolio.

“Fuller Speed Ahead” is FreightWaves CEO Craig Fuller’s deep dive interview show with leaders in trucking, freight, supply chain and freight-tech.

“We are booming, expanding across all sectors — automotive, manufacturing, retail …,” Cushman said. “With the new trade agreement, we will have even more business opportunities in Mexico.”

President Donald Trump signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) into law Jan. 29.

Under the USMCA, the percentage of automotive parts produced duty-free in North America must increase from the current 62.5% to 75% by 2023. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said the USMCA will increase the number of North American-made parts used in cars and trucks.

“President Trump is very committed to continuing to bring jobs back to America and he’s doing that, but at the same token, there’s not much slowing down that I can see in Mexico developments,” Cushman said. “Every time I go down to Mexico, I see new factories being built; everywhere you go, there is something new.”