Borderlands Mexico: Evans Transportation launches cross-border service amid trade boom

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Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Evans Transportation launches cross-border service amid trade boom; TexAmericas Center receives Union Pacific “focus site” designation; Chemvest Holdings US acquires Texas rail-served industrial park; and DHL Express expands retail presence in Houston area.
Delafield, Wisconsin-based Evans Transportation recently launched a new service offering for Mexico cross-border freight aiming to tap into the country’s expanding role as a global manufacturing hub.
“Starting the Mexico service was really an easy decision. The biggest part of our business is the Evans experience, which is listening to our customers,” Ryan Keepman, president and CEO of Evans Transportation, told FreightWaves. “Something we’ve heard a lot about is the need for support between the U.S. and Mexico, or within Mexico, because there are so many different companies out there either moving operations to Mexico, or utilizing more suppliers that are reshoring, if you will, to Mexico.”
Mexico was the United States’ top trading partner in April, with two-way trade totaling $72.47 billion, a 15% year-over-year increase, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau.
It was the fourth consecutive month and 14th of the past 15 months Mexico has been No. 1 in trade with the U.S. Canada ranked No. 2 for trade with the U.S. in April at $65.5 billion and China ranked third at $43.2 billion.
Port Laredo, Texas, was the No. 1-ranked U.S. trade gateway in April among the nation’s 450 airports, seaports and border crossings, according to WorldCity. It was the 13th consecutive month the Laredo border crossing was the country’s top-ranked international commercial trade port.
Laredo recorded $29.1 billion in two-way trade in the month. The Port of Los Angeles ranked No. 2 at $26.5 billion, followed by Chicago O’Hare International Airport at $24.5 billion.
In April, Laredo handled 266,692 commercial truck crossings between Mexico and the U.S., a 15.7% year-over-year increase compared to the same period last year.
Mexico was the United States’ top trading partner in April, with two-way trade totaling $72.47 billion. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)
Keepman said officials at Evans Transportation spent about eight months researching cross-border Mexico logistics before launching the new service.
Evans Transportation is a full-service, third-party provider of custom logistics solutions for a range of North American shippers. As part of its new service offering in Mexico, the company has added Marcelo Baptista as vice president of Mexico operations.
“We talked about the Mexico service internally, and actually went out and looked for the right resources to support that operation,” Keepman said. “It comes down to people, our people drive our business. We took a long time on the people’s side of it and made sure we found the right individual to lead that operation that fit our culture. Someone that is well versed and experienced in the Mexico market.”
Baptista, who is based in Orlando, comes to Evans having led operations and sales efforts in the Latin American market with roles in logistics and trucking at R&L Carriers, technology at Gartner Inc. and environmental services at Matthews Environmental Solutions.
“We’ve officially launched now, we’re actually moving freight for our customers, and business is good, it’s really good, even better than what we had expected,” Keepman said.
The company is already handling diverse types of freight between Mexico and the U.S.
“Evans has got a pretty diverse customer base right now, anything from moving truck body parts to mining equipment,” Keepman said. “We also see a lot of food ingredients and food manufacturing that takes place in Mexico, so a pretty diverse product line. We’re moving refrigerated to flatbed, dry van, all across the board.”
Evans is already planning to expand its Mexico service with more personnel and offices on both sides of the border
“We’re in the process of hiring more people right now. We’re opening offices on both sides of the border that will directly support the service, an office in Orlando, and then one in Mexico, most likely in Monterrey,” Keepman said. “From a revenue perspective, we’re conservatively anticipating over $50 million in Mexican freight for 2024. Our first shipment happened in May, so Mexico is going to be a substantial piece to our business.”
TexAmericas Center receives Union Pacific ‘focus site’ designation
The TexAmericas Center was recently selected as a Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) focus site, a designation aimed at increasing customers’ speed to market in the Northeast Texas region.
Union Pacific has more than 30 focus sites across its network. Focus sites serve as hubs where the railroad can concentrate resources, manage logistics more effectively and provide targeted services to meet specific customers’ needs, according to Union Pacific.
Union Pacific recently named the TexAmericas Center as a focus site, a designation aimed at increasing customers’ speed to market in the Northeast Texas region. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)
The TexAmericas Center is a mixed-use industrial park located in the northeast corner of Texas, about 20 miles west of Texarkana, and 180 miles east of Dallas. The center is located near Texas’ borders with Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
The center has about 12,000 acres of development-ready land and 3.5 million square feet of commercial and industrial space for commercial tenants.
TexAmericas Center’s new Union Pacific designation is expected to enhance the center’s logistics capabilities and reduce transit times, officials said.
“This designation comes with key benefits including rail design approved by Union Pacific, a large-scale development area, accessible industrial scale utilities, truck routes to the site, robust local development support and a single point-of-contact,” Eric Voyles, TexAmericas’ chief economic development officer and vice president, said in a news release.
Chemvest Holdings US acquires Texas rail-served industrial park
Chemvest Holdings US Inc. has acquired a 13.7-acre, rail-served site at Gulf Inland Logistics Park in Dayton, Texas.
The acquisition will expand Chemvest’s operations and accessibility to the Gulf Coast region for transloading its industrial products, according to a news release.
The Gulf Inland Logistics Park is a 1,158-acre site located about 37 miles northeast of Houston. The logistics park totals 2,400 acres and aims to provide manufacturing, distribution, rail services, storage and transportation capabilities for companies in the Gulf Coast region.
Chemvest acquired Gulf Inland Logistics Parth from Liberty Development Partners. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
DHL Express expands retail presence in Houston area
Logistics giant DHL recently expanded its network of U.S. retail locations with a company owned and operated retail shipping store in Bellaire, Texas, about 9 miles from central Houston.
The retail store is DHL’s first ServicePoint store in Bellaire and is one of five ServicePoint locations throughout the Houston area.
“Houston is a thriving city known for its diverse culture, booming economy, and international trade and commerce,” Aaron Gallagher, senior vice president of commercial for DHL Express, said in a news release. “This makes Bellaire … the ideal market for the next DHL-owned retail location to accommodate their growing international shipping needs.”
Germany-based DHL has 1,350 warehouses and offices in 220 countries and territories. The company employs 600,000 people.

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