Three key North American transportation players, BNSF Railway (BNSF), Grupo México Transportes (GMXT), and J.B. Hunt Transport Services, announce the creation of a new intermodal service. This service will connect Nuevo Leon, Silao-Bajio, and Pantaco-Mexico City regions through the Eagle Pass, Texas border gateway. The new service aims to be a more reliable, sustainable, cross-border transportation alternative.
Through a press release, the three companies unveiled the new intermodal service project, scheduled to begin operations on Jan. 1, 2024. This service is designed to eventually be faster than the existing service connecting Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, with Chicago, Illinois. The service aims to provide resilient, cross-border solutions that allow customers to support their growing supply chain needs in Mexico, says John Roberts, CEO, J.B. Hunt Transport Services. It will also open the door to new opportunities in the Mexican market.
"By utilizing the capacity and expertise of the largest intermodal railroad in the United States, the largest railroad in Mexico, and the largest domestic intermodal carrier, this product will seamlessly connect the North American intermodal network," says Katie Farmer, President and CEO, BNSF.
Experts had previously highlighted the need for an intermodal service that would strengthen connectivity between Mexico and its main export market: the United States. Carlos Canseco, Director, CILQRO, highlighted the importance of establishing robust logistics chains capable of supporting regional product delivery.
However, intermodalism comes with challenges associated with promoting railway and intermodal services, says Victor Monroy, Managing Director, MSC, to MBN. He stresses that these services could significantly enhance the country's logistical planning, especially in a landscape where external factors or contingency situations may disrupt transportation availability.
The services’ operational hub will be at Eagle Pass, Texas, where trains using BNSF will transfer to GMXT. The latter will operate trains six days a week, connecting the border crossing with Monterrey, Silao-Bajio, and Pantaco-Mexico City. An alternative option through El Paso, Texas, will also be available.
The project aims to minimize customs clearance delays at the Mexican border for southbound shipments. Once the shipments arrive at the destination ramp, customers can clear their cargo with the customs broker of their choice. Northbound shipments are pre-cleared with US Customs by a customs broker of the customer's choice.
Fernando López, CEO, GMXT, says that the company plans to address freight demand growth, which follows in the wake of nearshoring. The company sees Eagle Pass as a strategic gateway that can streamline trade between Mexico and the United States.
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