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Q: What unique advantages does LCP-Barelo Trucking offer to businesses and trucking companies in Mexico compared to traditional logistics solutions?
A: As an integrated services provider, we operate our own fleet of trucks and containers. A distinctive advantage lies in our team's industry expertise, which sets us apart from sales professionals who are unfamiliar with the industry. We cultivate sales skills within our workforce, many of whom already possess deep industry knowledge. We have also forged strategic alliances with major transportation companies in Mexico, enhancing our port operations. This strategic positioning allows us to cover three key ports: the Port of Laredo, Texas, to cover the United States; and the Ports of Manzanillo and Veracruz to cover the European Union, Asia, and other global trade routes.
Q: Several blockades have affected ports in Mexico. What measures have you taken to address these challenges?
A: Ports present complex business dynamics and pressures, which is why our company adheres to a customer-first philosophy based on open communication. We commit to the established timelines except when external phenomena disrupt these schedules. If incidents such as accidents, fires, or security issues arise, we promptly notify all clients to ensure transparency and a swift response. This ensures our clients are informed promptly about situations that are beyond our control.
Q: How did the recent restrictions placed at the Mexico-US border affect LCP-Barelo Trucking?
A: The restrictions placed at border crossings in Texas aimed to ensure a safer reopening and to tackle fentanyl trafficking, but they led to the redirection of all crossing merchandise to Laredo, heavily delaying inspections. A crossing that typically took 30 minutes now took almost 13 hours. The stringent inspections included X-rays, manual checks, dog inspections, pallet inspections and extensive truck inspections, among other measures that were not standard practice.
Q: How does LCP-Barelo Trucking ensure the safety and security of drivers, shipments, and assets along transportation routes?
A: We have implemented several “patches” to address these problems, but they directly undermine the company's overall efficiency. For example, in Puebla and the State of Mexico, our vehicles do not operate from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Consequently, our units remain idle for seven hours in which they could potentially reach Puebla, Tlaxcala, or even Veracruz. However, we are compelled to keep them parked because risking their operation jeopardizes the truck, operator, and cargo. These seven hours represent a significant loss.
Q: With the ongoing shortage of truck drivers, both in the United States and Mexico, what measures has LCP-Barelo Trucking implemented to prevent operator turnover?
A: This is a highly complex issue. There has been a surge in imports and exports between Mexico and the United States. Operations at large trucking and cargo companies were also disrupted for a year and a half during the pandemic, so there is now a shortage of trucks and cargo containers.
We provide operators with good working conditions, giving them time to spend with their families, ensuring they get adequate rest, and focusing on their physical and mental health. Thus, operators tend to recommend us to their family and friends, fostering a mutual atmosphere of trust. This environment allows for mutual growth between our units and the operators.
Q: The Complemento Carta Porte (CCP) regulation has brought changes to the logistics industry. What challenges and opportunities has this posed for LCP-Barelo Trucking?
A: While the CCP will become mandatory in January, it is increasingly rare to find a serious transportation company that does not already have it, as being stopped without it can lead to truck inspections and potential legal issues.
At first it was challenging to adapt to this system, but a year and a half after it was implemented we see the improvements it brings. The CCP reduces security risks, particularly regarding theft because it contains information that complicates the reintroduction of stolen goods into the legal industry, especially in the automotive sector.
Q: How does LCP-Barelo Trucking support the nearshoring logistics needs of its customers?
A: It is a challenging issue to address because the industry in Mexico is growing much faster than transporters can expand. However, this presents an opportunity. With the surge in work volume, there is an increase in flow and profitability. More work means more operators, but it also attracts more criminal activities. This problem encourages us to reward clients who comply with the right practices, such as providing the CCP, adhering to transit schedules, and taking care of their operators while ensuring timely payments.
Q: What challenges will nearshoring bring to the Mexican logistics industry?
A: Capacity represents a large challenge. A macro-plant like Tesla, for example, will attract capacity and companies from regions like the Bajio. It is essentially taking from one place to allocate to another; however, it is an opportunity for operators to strive for better conditions by urging the authorities to place a greater effort and focus on security. Foreign investors need secure conditions for transporting goods.
Q: How do you envision the future of the logistics industry in Mexico, and what role does LCP-Barelo Trucking play in shaping that future?
A: In a country experiencing such industrial and economic growth, logistics will continue to expand. The challenge will lie in adapting to whatever arrives, whether it is an increase in maritime, aerial, or land-based cargo. The key is to accommodate the greatest possible volume efficiently. Logistics is about achieving more with less, allowing us to maximize operations and fully optimize the resources at our disposal.
We are always adapting and striving to craft solutions through smart investments that generate business opportunities for our clients. We aim to make excellent decisions that benefit both us and our clients. We are focusing our resources where our clients need them the most, ensuring mutually beneficial and highly advantageous partnerships.
Q: Looking ahead to 2024, what are LCP-Barelo Trucking's growth expectations and key plans for further expansion?
A: Everything is changing. Six months ago, we would have said we would never get involved in port operations but today, we plan to significantly expand our presence in the ports of Manzanillo and Veracruz.
We have excellent relationships with our commercial partner in the United States, SAMAX Express. We are increasing our operations between both countries on a monthly basis and leveraging our strengths in cross-border trade. We are focusing on growing continuously by expanding our fleet of containers and trucks, and exploring new projects. Our primary objective is to solidify our presence at the ports and to replicate the growth achieved in cross-border operations.
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