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Borderlands: Production, exports of Mexican-built trucks soar in March

The U.S. continued to be the overwhelming destination for Class 8 trucks produced in Mexico in March, accounting for 96% of exports. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of U.S.-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Production and exports of Mexican-built cargo trucks soared in March; Walmart is closing a logistics facility in Fort Worth, Texas; Target announced three distribution centers in Texas; and Maersk opened a global service center in Mexico City.

Production, exports of Mexican-built cargo trucks soar in March

Mexico’s cargo truck sales, production and exports climbed in March, boosted by demand from the United States, according to Mexico’s National Association of Bus, Truck and Tractor Producers (ANPACT).

“We have a market with dynamism and drive; these are very positive figures and what influences it is the recovery, that after the pandemic there is greater mobility and transportation of goods and supply,” Alejandro Osorio, a spokesman for ANPACT, said during a recent video news conference. “We have observed greater synchronization in global supply chains, particularly with North American partners, and this is also due to the dynamism observed in the United States and in orders from that country.”

The 10 truck makers in Mexico that are members of ANPACT manufactured a total of 22,204 units in March, a 38% year-over-year (y/y) increase. Exports of trucks increased 34% y/y to 17,533 vehicles.

The U.S. continued to be the overwhelming destination for Class 8 trucks produced in Mexico in March, accounting for 96% of exports, followed by Canada at 2.4% and Peru at 1%.

Wholesale sales of trucks in Mexico increased almost 40% y/y in March to 4,900 units.

Truck makers and parts manufacturers with assembly plants and factories in Mexico include Freightliner, Kenworth, Navistar, Hino, International, DINA, MAN SE, Mercedes-Benz, Isuzu, Scania, Cummins and Detroit Diesel.

Virginia Olalde, ANPACT’s director of foreign trade, attributed the strong monthly sales and exports to an increasing number of manufacturers nearshoring or reshoring their operations to North America.

“The opportunities offered by nearshoring are tangible and will continue to be pursued, since its development potential is broad and will benefit in the medium and long term the national production chains and with the neighbors in North America,” Olalde said during the same news conference as Osorio.

Freightliner was ANPACT’s top truck producer and exporter in Mexico during March. The company built 12,715 trucks, a 55% y/y increase, and exported 11,151 units, a 53% y/y increase.

International Trucks Inc. produced 6,613 units in March, a 10% y/y increase, and exported 5,751, a 9% y/y rise.

Kenworth manufactured 1,675 units, a 26% y/y increase, and exported 631 trucks, a 14% y/y increase from 2022.

Walmart closing logistics facility in Fort Worth

Walmart is closing a fulfillment center in Fort Worth, Texas, and laying off 1,047 workers, according to a recent notice sent to state officials.

The company did not provide a reason for shutting down the facility, but the closure of the Fort Worth center coincides with the laying off of more than 2,000 Walmart warehouse employees across five U.S. states.

The Fort Worth fulfillment center will shut down permanently by June 2. Officials said they gave affected employees the opportunity to find positions at other Walmart stores and Sam’s Club retail outlets.

Walmart also recently laid off 600 workers in Pennsylvania, 400 in Florida and 200 in New Jersey.  

“Walmart recently adjusted staffing levels at our [fulfillment center] in select markets to better prepare for the future needs of customers,” a Walmart official told Sourcing Journal. “This decision was not made lightly, and we’re working closely with affected associates to help them understand what career options may be available at other Walmart locations.”

Target opening 3 distribution centers in Texas

Target Corp. is opening distribution centers in the Houston area and Fort Worth, aiming to speed up online orders to customers.

“[Target] is opening two supply chain facilities in Houston and one in Fort Worth in the coming years to support Target’s continued growth,” a company spokesman told FreightWaves. 

The company did not provide further information about the new facilities. A report from the Houston Chronicle said the distribution hubs include a 1.2 million-square-foot facility at the Beltway 66 Logistics Park in Southeast Houston and a 1.4 million-square-foot facility at Generation Park, northeast of the city.

John Mulligan, Target’s executive vice president and COO, said the company plans to open six sortation centers in the next few years, including two this year. 

“Earlier this month, we announced the expansion of our sortation center network to more than 15 facilities by the end of 2026,” Mulligan said during a conference call with analysts March 2. “These facilities have transformed how we move inventory with speed and precision to guests’ doorsteps.”

Maersk opens global service centers in Mexico City, Brazil

A.P. Moller – Maersk announced the opening of a global service center (GSC) for the Americas region based in Mexico City, with a dedicated satellite office in Santos, Brazil.

The centers will create more than 700 positions in 2023, with a plan to scale up to 1,300 jobs by 2025. The Americas-based centers will bring Maersk closer to its customers in the region, providing multi-language support and regional expertise, according to a news release.

“As part of our transformational journey to become increasingly customer centric, nearshoring some of our key customer processes close to where our customers are is another way of ensuring that we speak the same language as them,” Farheen Mahmud, head of Maersk GSC Americas, said in a statement.

Maersk is a Denmark-based global shipping company and logistics company operating in more than 130 countries and employing over 110,000 people worldwide.

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]