Mexican trucks line up to cross border.

Members of Canacar — Mexico’s trucking association — who attended Friday’s session complained that Mexican truckers face more stringent requirements than their U.S. counterparts under the current pilot project, the Union-Tribune story said.


By Lyndon Finney
The Trucker Staff


TIJUANA, Baja California, Mexico — Twenty-two Mexico-domiciled carriers have now applied to participate in the cross-border demonstration project, and two representatives of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration stepped over into Mexico Friday to appeal for more additional carriers to apply.


Anna Amos, director of safety programs for the FMCSA, and Marcelo Perez, a transportation safety investigator for the agency, expressed concern over low participation by Mexico-domiciled carriers, saying their enrollment is critical to the success of the three-year project, according to a story in the San Diego Union-Tribune.


During the meeting, the two said that without significant Mexican involvement, the U.S. Department of Transportation won’t have enough data to show that Mexican trucks can operate safety outside the commercial trade zone.


The stated objective of the pilot is to collect and evaluate data on the safety performance of Mexico-domiciled carriers.


That data would then be evaluated to determine whether the program should be made permanent.

The agency has a three-year target of 4,100 inspections. It said it would take about 46 Mexico-domiciled participating carriers to reach that target.


As of Monday, only two carriers have operating authority to participate in the pilot program.

Five other carriers are awaiting the result of their Pre-Authorization Safety Audit (PASA).

Another, Grupo Behr, passed the PASA, but concerns about the carrier’s safety record during the public comment period resulted in FMCSA not granting operating authority pending further investigation.


Nine more Mexico-domiciled carriers whose names do not appear on the last operational report have completed applications and are being moved the PASA phase, an FMCSA spokesperson said Monday. Five other carriers have submitted applications, but those five applications were considered incomplete. The FMCSA is waiting for those carriers to return complete applications before moving them on to the PASA process.


During its Grupo Behr investigation, FMCSA discovered violations involving the carrier leasing its vehicles to a company with authority to operate beyond the commercial zones, something not allowed under U.S. law, an FMCSA spokesperson said.  FMCSA issued a Notice of Violation to the company. Grupo Behr has submitted a corrective action plan, and FMCSA intends to monitor the company’s operations for six months and reconsider its application for the program at that point.

FMCSA operational reports on the program are complete through Feb. 5, 2010.

The data show that there have been nine northbound border crossings.


There have been seven inspections, one of which resulted in a Transportes Olympic vehicle being placed out-of-service Jan. 2 for an inoperable required lamp.


The carrier corrected the problem on site and the vehicle was cleared to resume its trip.

Members of Canacar — Mexico’s trucking association — who attended Friday’s session complained that Mexican truckers face more stringent requirements than their U.S. counterparts under the current pilot project, the Union-Tribune story said.


“The new program has way too many limitations, and that’s possibly why there aren’t enough carriers” that have registered, the paper quoted Alfonso Esquér, Canacar’s representative in Tijuana, as saying.

Juan Carlos Muñoz Márquez, the national president of Canacar, according to the paper, said of the pilot that: “It is very complicated, it’s very expensive, and to tell you the truth, it hasn’t brought us any benefit.”


The paper said Muñoz is owner of Transportes Castor, one of Mexico’s largest trucking companies, which has not applied for the program. Like many owners of Mexican trucking firms, he works in tandem with a U.S. company — Castor Transport LLC — that takes his shipments and makes deliveries across the United States.



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