Kansas City Southern and customs agencies from Mexico and the U.S. inaugurated a new, joint Unified Cargo Processing facility at the Laredo, Texas railroad border-crossing.
Located close to the railhead of the Laredo International Rail Bridge, the rail processing building, constructed by KCS, enables officers from Mexico’s Servicio de Administracion Tributaria/Aduana to work collaboratively with counterparts from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The joint operations allow Mexico Customs to complete their outbound inspections and CBP to perform their inbound inspection processes simultaneously, eliminating unnecessary delays and duplication while maintaining security and facilitating lawful commerce.
KCS said the Laredo/Nuevo Laredo rail crossing is the busiest on the border, processing an average of 23 trains in both directions per day carrying products including cars and parts, steel, grain and petroleum. Eliminating the need to stop trains on the cross-border bridge would increase the fluidity of train movements, while improving security and reducing traffic congestion.
“As our governments begin the important work of updating the North American Free Trade Agreement this week, we must all remember the importance of the NAFTA trade relationship to both countries and both economies”, said KCS President & CEO Patrick J Ottensmeyer. “This project, and others to follow, are essential to facilitate the goal of expanding trade and particularly increasing exports of goods such as refined petroleum products and petrochemicals from the U.S. to Mexico.”
“This project is a model for how communities, governmental authorities and private enterprises can work together to create outcomes that benefit everyone and strengthen our relationships with our key trading partners and neighbors,” said Mr. Ottensmeyer.
Demand for rail shipments across this busiest international rail gateway in both directions is expected to continue to increase in the future, particularly with growth in U.S. agricultural and future energy exports to Mexico.