Mexican Trucks Already in US — Legally

Mexican Trucks Already in US — Legally

Looking to calm concerns over moves to allow Mexican trucking companies to operate in the United States, U.S. officials say up to 1,300 Mexican companies already may be running trucks in the country under authority granted as far back as 1987.

Those Mexican companies operate private fleets that aren’t engaged in for-hire carriage or haul exempt commodities, such as produce, a federal official said.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has recent data on about 850 of these Mexican fleets, said William Quade, the agency’s associate administrator. Many were “grandfathered” in the 1980s or received certificates under the Interstate Commerce Commission and later the Department of Transportation.

“These were companies that did not require operating authority in the United States” at the time the certificates of registration were issued, Quade said.

The ICC granted certificates from 1987 until it was shut down in 1995, when the DOT took over the program. The certificates are still valid, Quade said.

Quade spoke Wednesday at a panel discussion in Washington on FMCSA’s cross-border trucking plan, which has drawn fire from labor groups and some members of Congress because of concerns over whether the Mexican truckers will take work from American companies and do not operate to the same safety standards as U.S. trucks.

The FMCSA could use safety data from those carriers, who are required to comply with all U.S. regulations, to supplement its three-year trucking pilot project.

“We know what their safety experience looks like. That’s going to be important,” Quade told the Washington International Trade Association.

Contact William B. Cassidy at wcassidy@joc.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wbcassidy_joc