Last month, President Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderón unveiled a deal to resolve a longstanding dispute over cross-border trucking.
No matter where you stand on the cross-border trucking deal with Mexico, it is going to become a reality. Companies that choose to ignore the issue do so at their own peril and those who prepare-- stand to profit.
Additionally, the Department of Transportation (DOT) recently unveiled a three-year pilot program to allow Mexican trucks to enter the U.S. after meeting multiple safety-related steps. Part of the requirements is a “global positioning system and/or electronic on board recording device”.
The announcement of this US/Mexico cross-border deal is yet another sign of the times for increased international trade. Carriers and logistics companies should take advantage of this time to prepare for business expansion into cross-border hauling. While it will likely be required for CSA-type safety technology to be installed in-cab, U.S. and Mexican trucking and logistics companies also need to consider the importance of trailer tracking technology solutions.
These businesses can benefit from a trailer tracking technology solution that operates on a two-way satellite communication, allowing them to change reporting requirements over the air as their needs change. They need a solution that can report the location of a trailer even after its been dropped, which often times means it has no access to an external power source, and can integrate sensor technology for additional cargo information. By enabling visibility of trailers while on the move, businesses can not only stay in compliance with the government but also improve security, customer satisfaction and just-in-time logistics by maintaining continuous control of goods. Companies that already have this technology installed on their trailers have a competitive advantage over those that do not.
We’ve seen similar requirements from the federal government on U.S. Arms, Ammunitions, and Explosives (AA&E) haulers in terms of high reporting in-transit visibility. Some of the main requirements for certified AA&E haulers are trailer tracking, door sensor capability, reporting of tether/un-tether events (between tractor and trailer) and integration to the government’s software platform, IRRIS. While the US/Mexico cross-border deal may not be as safety-critical as the AA&E certification program, there is still a huge security issue which is obviously a great concern for the Department of Homeland Security, whereby more regulations are likely to follow.
The key lesson learned from this example is that companies should invest in technology solutions that offer flexible and open platforms for integration into government systems, can offer high reporting rates while keeping power consumption ultra low, and has ubiquitous satellite coverage 24/7.