Sunday, February 25, 2024

Computer issues paralyze trade between US and Mexico

Delays from the customs system on Mexico’s side of the border have snarled commercial truck traffic the past several days at ports of entry in California and Texas.

Mexico’s National Customs Agency (ANAM) began reporting intermittent issues with its customs operating system at the border on Tuesday. 

On Wednesday, ANAM suspended all operations at the bridge connecting Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, to the World Trade Bridge in Laredo, Texas. On average, the World Trade Bridge handles 16,000 to 18,000 trucks a day. 

Traffic for cargo trucks heading into Mexico was also significantly affected by ANAM’s custom system failures at international crossings in Otay Mesa, California, as well as El Paso and Pharr, Texas.

Northbound trucks arriving from Mexico into the U.S. were not affected by the customs computer outages.

The World Trade Bridge was reopened Thursday morning by Mexican customs officials, who reported that the problem arose from computer software meant to validate import and export requests.

Trade officials said cargo traffic is slowly returning to normal at U.S.-Mexico crossings affected by system issues, but the backlog of freight waiting at the border has caused millions of dollars in lost revenue for the cross-border freight industry.

Israel Delgado, an official for Mexico’s National Chamber of Cargo Transportation, said the backlog of trucks has caused as much as $23 million a day in lost revenue for the trade industry.

“Commerce was paralyzed in Tijuana [just south of Otay Mesa port of entry] and all the ports for a day and a half,” Delgado told The Sun of Tijuana. “It’s had a serious impact on the economy and cargo transportation.”

Patty Hinojosa, vice president of Mexico sales and operations for CargoQuotes, said the delays have had a “big impact” on freight shipments.

CargoQuotes, based in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, is a full-service freight brokerage specializing in cross-border shipments.

“Big impact, we are two days behind on border crossings and that causes a chain reaction on final deliveries,” Hinojosa told FreightWaves.

More articles by Noi Mahoney

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The post Computer issues paralyze trade between US and Mexico appeared first on FreightWaves.

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