Werner Enterprises Inc (NASDAQ: WERN) continues to invest in U.S.-Mexican trade, regardless of the ups and downs of President Donald Trump's trade negotiations.
In May, Werner opened a new 17,000-square foot refrigerated cross-dock operations facility in Laredo, Texas. The $8 million facility features 13 dry docks and eight refrigerated docks, according to a company statement.
"We are proud to enhance our services and continue leading the industry as the largest cross-border transportation provider to and from Mexico," said president and chief executive officer Derek Leathers. "The new cross-dock facility will enable our customers and more than 25,000 alliance carriers to increase their supply chain velocity while reducing their trans-loading and warehousing costs often involved when shipping cross-border."
Werner's new facility is located at 1201 Carriers Drive, just off of Interstate 35. The new Laredo cross-dock is around 13 miles from the World Trade Bridge, where trucks cross the border into Mexico.
Werner Enterprises new facility is one of the latest dock operations to open in Laredo. In January, the Laredo-based Lopezadri Group opened a new "International Logistics Terminal," including 24 cross-dock doors and a 40,000-square foot warehouse, located at 22401 Mines Road, around 6 miles from Port Laredo, according to the company website.
"In this facility we offer a variety of international logistics services, including customs brokerage, cross docking and warehousing services," the Lopezadri Group said on its website.
In November, New Jersey-based United States Cold Storage (USCS) also opened a $35 million, 232,366-square foot warehouse that distributes a variety of produce, including strawberries and Mexican avocados.
The USCS cold storage facility features a refrigerated loading dock with 21 truck doors; a separate cross-dock area; and a refrigerated repacking room. USCS focuses on refrigerated and frozen food items. The new facility is located at 1472 Mines Road, around 11 miles to Laredo, and is the company's third location in the area.
"As food trade with Mexico continues to grow, we found ourselves in a position to respond to our customers' growing needs with more space," said George Cruz, senior vice president of USCS' Southern Region.
In March, the latest month for which data is available, 205,913 trucks crossed into the United States at Laredo, making it the largest U.S. land border port. Laredo briefly surpassed the Port of Los Angeles as the number one trade port in the United States for the month of March, according to statistics from the U.S. Census and WorldCity.
For the month of April, the Port of Los Angeles returned to first place, with trade totaling $22.18 billion, a 12.8 percent increase, while Port Laredo's trade was $19.34 billion, a decline of 3.75 percent, according to data analyzed by Miami-based WorldCity, which analyzes export-import data and trade policy.
Mexico continues to be the United States' top trade partner for the third straight month, ahead of China and Canada, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Matt Parry, senior vice president of Werner Logistics, said the grand opening event of the new Laredo cross-dock was well-received. Werner is celebrating its 20-year anniversary of its Mexico-based operations this year. Werner entered Mexico's transportation and logistics market in 1999, when Werner Mexico was formed, and border crossings began in Laredo.
"We had an opportunity to entertain over 100 of our customers and partners that wanted to come and see this great new state-of-the-art facility," Parry said of the May 15 event. "We opened [this facility] so that we can expand our customers needs for cross-border activities in and out of Mexico."
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