Customs Traffic Jam and Trade Paralyzed with the US Due to System Failure

Mexico-US Trade at a Standstill for 36 Hours: The Merchandise Dispatch System is Still Paralyzed Despite Efforts to Resume Operations

The merchandise dispatch system was disrupted for over 36 hours, which led to the paralysis of part of the international trade of the country. Despite progress made on Thursday, it is expected that it will take a week to relieve the bottleneck. The Nuevo Laredo customs reported that operations in the loading area of the International Bridge III of World Trade were restarted after 10 p.m on February 7, and it is estimated that 40 percent of the exchange of goods between Mexico and the United States passes through this bridge, totalling $1.3 billion dollars per day. However, an explanation for the interruptions remains incomplete.

On the US side alone, economic losses totalled $660 million due to the closure of the International Bridge. The Confederation of Industrial Chambers (Concamin) indicated that they do not yet know the estimated losses caused to different industrial sectors by the closure of this bridge. Perishable goods are especially affected by delays, as raised concerns by Mexican Meat Council following fallout from this incident.

The merchandise clearance process was gradually reestablished at various customs locations across Mexico, including Tijuana in Baja California; Manzanillo in Colima; Nuevo Laredo in Tamaulipas; and Ciudad Juárez in Chihuahua on Thursday. However, despite this progress, restoring full flow could take up to a week due to backlogs at ports such as Port Manzanillo where hundreds of cargo vehicles were waiting for clearance starting from Thursday until February 13th. The setbacks began intermittently on Tuesday in Tijuana and total paralysis became evident on Wednesday with dozens of trucks making long lines causing inconvenience to many businesses.

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