Cargo Bandits Plague $656B Mexico-US Trade, While Insurers Ride To The Rescue

Cargo Bandits Plague $656B Mexico-US Trade, While Insurers Ride To The Rescue

Cargo theft remains an ever-present nuisance along the bustling trade corridor between the United States and Mexico. But insurance providers say their expanded coverage options can help cross-border transporters confront the risks.

Highways and Railways Plagued

Cargo criminals struck over 6,000 times across Mexico from January to September — an 8% spike over the same stretch in 2021, Reliance Partners insurance data shows. The bandits ambush trucks along highways and raid cargo trains, pilfering everything from car parts to grains.

Rail heists proved especially common. Crooks hit cargo trains 312 times last September alone, more than double the count a year earlier. Come November, highway hijackings averaged over 10 per day.

The persistent threat even pushed Mexican truckers to the edge of a nationwide strike last summer until authorities implemented new security measures. “The government still needs a more forceful approach,” said Mark Vickers, head of international logistics for Reliance.

Yet despite the risks, cross-border trucking volumes stay strong, as manufacturers nearshore operations to Mexico. “There’s still good money to be made,” Vickers noted.

An Insurance Cavalry Arrives

And as trade expands between the two nations, so have insurance options. Reliance reports a 500% rise in Mexico cargo coverage purchases prior to border crossings compared to pre-pandemic times.

Giant carriers often land the best rates, Vickers explains. But now smaller transport firms can also access “more affordable” supplemental protection to layer above their existing liability policies.

By touting their safety protocols, these smaller outfits can effectively contend for cross-border loads. “Mexico cargo coverage is far more obtainable nowadays,” Vickers said.

The key is collaboration across the “disconnected cross-border supply web,” he stresses. Because when gangs nab goods, everyone takes an economic punch. Shared vigilance and financial protection help guarantee merchandise keeps flowing securely between the booming trade partners.

Paccar Invests $50M To Grow Mexico’s Truck Factory

Even with crime troubles, optimism abounds regarding Mexico’s manufacturing potential. Heavy-duty truck maker Paccar is sinking $50 million into its Kenworth Mexicana assembly plant to enlarge its production capacity.

The investment will fund a new test facility for electric, diesel and natural gas truck engines. It also allows for more administrative offices, plus cafeteria and facility expansions.

The 590,000 square-foot factory employed 3,500 workers and manufactured 15,500 Kenworth and Peterbilt brand trucks last year — mostly for export to the U.S. and Canada.

Logistics Firms Move Into New Dallas-Area Warehouses

Meanwhile, logistics providers continue to build out distribution networks in the key Dallas–Fort Worth metro area.

Miami-based Ryder System recently leased a new 235,000 square-foot warehouse space in Haltom City. The building located between Dallas and Fort Worth provides handy access to the 27,000-acre Alliance Texas distribution hub.

The just-finished Northmark Commerce Center building also drew an undisclosed buyer in a recent sale handled by Newmark Commercial Real Estate Group.

“With its prime location for last-mile deliveries in the sought-after North Fort Worth industrial submarket, Northmark presents an exceptional investment opportunity,” said Newmark’s Dustin Volz.

As Texas’ logistics infrastructure expands, companies keep betting on the state’s business-friendly environment and proximity to Mexico trade. But the persistent cargo theft scourge also shows why risk management and insurance play such key roles in smoothing cross-border operations.

By leveraging their expertise and resources, Lading Logistics aims to provide efficient and reliable international shipping and logistics solutions for their clients.