SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Truck drivers in Mexico are complaining about having to wait up to six hours to cross the border in recent days as industry leaders plead with U.S. officials for help.
During a news conference, Alfonso Millán Chávez, president of the National Chamber of Truckers in Tijuana and Rosarito, said he’s urging U.S. Customs and Border Protection to make it easier for truckers to get into the U.S. via the commercial side of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.
Though he did not specifically mention what the U.S. can or should do to help, trade officials have often complained, for example, about lanes being closed at ports of entry.
In recent weeks, truckers have also complained about Mexican Customs and its “fragile” computer system that processes trucks on the way out of Mexico.
“It’s making it a lot more difficult to work as a truck operator,” said Millán Chávez. “As a human being, having to wait five to seven hours in line without using the bathroom or having food and water is not easy.”
According to Millán Chávez, truckers rely on making several trips daily across the border to make a living.
He says normally they can do three or four, but right now it’s only one per day.
“Not being able to cross the border quickly is a heavy obstacle to overcome while trying to earn a living,” he said.
Millán Chávez says delays hurt the economy on both sides of the border.
Another factor reportedly creating delays and upsetting drivers, according to Millán Chávez, is truckers given priority if they’re carrying loads.
In a statement to Border Report, however, CPB said, “Consistent with standard procedure, cargo trucks are processed in the order they present themselves for inspection at the Otay Mesa Cargo Facility.”
Earlier this month, Tijuana’s Chamber of Commerce said delays for truckers at the border amount to $15 million in losses daily that multiply up the supply chain on the U.S. side of the border.