Laredo, Texas is one of the busiest ports for truckers, known for facilitating US-Mexico transborder trade. Naturally, it’s a well-known name for companies like Titan Transline, and the subject of close observation for those invested in trade near the Southern Border.
A recently-published study forecasted that the bridge could hit its capacity by 2030, which would be seriously detrimental to commercial truck wait times and trade flow between the US and Mexico. The study was conducted as part of the city’s government’s look into trade, and was discussed as part of a Feb. 22, 2021 city council meeting.
Laredo City Manager Robert Eads explains that the report forecasted that the city’s World Trade Bridge would be close to hitting its capacity within the next decade if no action is taken. However, Eads notes that, thanks in part to the study, the city council is already aware of the situation and is working to deal with the issue.
Eads says that they’ll end up at the same place; building out, and that the biggest chance
Laredo’s plans is to boost transborder trade between the US and Mexico via their international bridges, and, that their best option is to expand the World Trade Bridge and utilize the Colombia-Solidarity Bridge better.
Some of the Laredo City Council’s projects are already underway, Eads notes, like the World Trade Bridge FAST Lane Initiative. The FAST (Free and Secure Trade) Lane program is aimed at allowing for easier commercial clearances for known low-risk freights entering the US, both in the Southern border as well as the Northern one.
For Laredo, the FAST program will be used for a site on the northern part of Port Laredo, which will let trucks in the program take a more direct route from the World Trade Bridge.
SNB Infrastructure is in charge of handling Laredo’s bridge master plan, while also handling the collection of data and reaching out to stakeholders. The stakeholders for Laredo’s plans, beside the city itself, include the Texas Department of Transportation, the US Customs and Border Protection, and the US’s and Mexico’s customs brokers.
In 2020, 2.3mn trucks and 239,017 rail containers entered the US via Laredo’s port of entry, making it rank as the US’s 4th busiest gateways for international trade, with only the Port of Los Angeles, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and the JFK International Airport doing better.