New Mexico Expands Overweight Cargo Zone At Border

By Mónica Ortiz Uribe
April 09, 2015
Photo by Mónica Ortiz Uribe
Omega Trucking, based in southern New Mexico, transports construction material manufactured in Mexican factories into the United States.

In an effort to attract more binational business, New Mexico will soon expand an overweight cargo zone at its southern border.

As of 2011, New Mexico allows commercial trucks coming from Mexico to travel six miles into the state with loads heavier than the federal limit.

Starting July 1st, that overweight zone will expand to 12 miles thanks to legislation signed by Gov. Susana Martinez this week. Within those 12 miles is a newly built Union Pacific rail facility.

Mexico's weight limit for truck cargo is roughly 15 percent higher than in the United States. An overweight zone allows trucks quicker access to border industrial parks and saves companies thousands of dollars.

"We recruited 12 companies that are utilizing that zone or are here directly because of that zone," said Jerry Pacheco, vice president of New Mexico's Border Industrial Association. "There's 606 jobs that have been created in the last three and a half years."

Recent arrivals include Interceramic, a well-known brand in Mexico that manufactures tile. MCS Industries, a U.S. manufacturer of picture frames sold in retail chains such as Walmart and Target, will soon expand its warehouse and distribution center in southern New Mexico.  

In 2011, Arizona began a pilot program for overweight trucks transporting agricultural products from Mexico. Its overweight zone extends 25 miles north of the border.