Congestion at the U.S.-Mexico border is affecting vehicle and parts shipping, resulting in further delays and other logistics issues for the auto industry. The delays are reportedly the result of hundreds of thousands of migrants from Central and South America, as well as additional inspections by U.S. officials. The delays are leading to automakers searching for new ways to move goods across the border.
According to a report from Automotive News, which cites Bloomberg, at least 19,000 trucks are now idling at the border, leaving roughly $1.9 billion of goods in limbo. In addition to an influx of people, the delays are also attributed new inspections instituted by Texas state officials, which were put in place in September to search for illegal border crossings and drug smuggling. Temporary border crossing closures have also caused Ferromex, the largest railway operator in Mexico, to suspend freight train service. Officials in Panama indicate that some people are attempting to cross the border by boarding railway cars carrying new vehicles into the U.S.
Per the U.S. International Trade Administration, Mexico produces roughly 3 million vehicles a year, three-quarters of which are exported to the U.S. GM operates several production facilities in Mexico, building vehicles like the Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, GMC Terrain, Chevy Equinox, Chevy Blazer (internal combustion-powered), and the all-electric Chevy Blazer EV. According to GM spokesperson Kevin Kelly, GM is “experiencing slight delays in shipping across the border,” but the supply situation is reportedly improving. Kelly did not specify the number of vehicles affected by the congestion. In response to the border situation, Kelly said that GM has opted to transport vehicles from Mexico to the U.S. via sea, a solution that GM is implementing “on a limited basis.”