Outgoing Chamber President, Manuel Gomez, filed his yearly report, in which he indicated Mexican carriers lost $14 million during March due to the war in Iraq which prompted stiffer checks at the border, sharply increasing the cost of moving goods into the US.
“A few months ago, there were six transfers per day. Today, only three can be made because of the thorough checks to which carriers are subject. These delays forced carriers to use more trucks to achieve the same number of transfers. The monetary loss won’t quickly be recovered.”
Hardest hit are Maquiladora Just-in-Time merchandise movements and perishables. Carriers, says Gomez, are being forced to increase transfer prices between 20 and 50%. This can hike costs from $96 to $140 per regular cargo crossing. The war with Iraq is the latest event to have an adverse effect on cross-border trade beginning with tougher security measures instituted as a result of the events of September 11th.
“Since then,” continues the Gomez report, “carriers have reported loses of $6.6 million a month and 378,000 monthly transfers.”
In defining his program, Leon Flores will demand more action from the Mexican government--both on increasing road security at home, and forcing cancellation of the NAFTA transportation chapter with the US, but not with Canada.