Rassini SAB de CV, a maker of carbon fiber leaf springs, hybrid composites and metal auto suspension, and brake parts, has manufacturing in Piedras Negras, Mexico. Normally, it's just a short trip from there across the border to Eagle Pass, Texas, where it has a distribution center to coordinate shipments to automakers in the U.S.
But increased inspections and limited border hours intended to control a rise in migrant traffic — with new state-ordered inspection sites added to those already operated by the federal government — has the company driving an extra 55 miles each way to use a smaller and less crowded border crossing at Del Rio, Texas, our sister paper Automotive News writes.
A new wave of migrants from Central and South America have put extra strain on border crossings and prompted increased security measures that have slowed commercial traffic, including a three-week shutdown at El Paso, Texas. Trucks can take up to 24 hours to cross at busy sites. Rail service has also been affected.
That means that companies like Rassini — a finalist for an SPE auto award for a project with Ford in 2017 — are considering even bigger changes to get their parts into the U.S. in time, including shipping via air and sea.
"There are some deep-water ports near the border — Matamoros on the Mexican side and Brownsville on the U.S. side — that would lend themselves very well," Butzel Long attorney Les Glick, who handles customs and border issues for Rassini, told AN.