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tractor-semitrailer. The program began on May 17, these designated routes. These costs could be offset 2010, and will allow ADOT to evaluate the effective- by a reduced number of trucks resulting from greater ness of allowing overweight trucks from Mexico and efficiencies. to determine whether to continue and possibly expand the service to other Mexico/Arizona commercial BACKGROUND zones. Among other requirements, the carrier must utilize a sealed container originating in Mexico, must Providing background information on the char- meet Arizona axle load limits, and must follow spe- acteristics of Mexican truck movement will help lay cific routes designated on the permit. the foundation for later discussion of size and weight issues. The emphasis placed on the types of trucks Mexico/U.S. Analysis crossing the U.S./Mexico border is significant because Mexican trucks have been crossing the border into Keeping roadways safe and protecting infrastruc- the U.S. commercial zone for many years, and the ture from premature decline are key issues in the expectation is that Mexican trucks could someday debate over truck size and weight in the United States. travel far beyond the commercial zone on a more A review of the Mexican experience with larger, widespread basis. heavier trucks may provide important insights that can be factored into the decision process in the United States. U.S./Mexico Trade by Truck A major contributor to the adoption of heavier U.S./Mexico trade by truck grew by a factor of trucks in Mexico is the Mexican Bridge Formula. almost three between 1995 and 2008, from $80 bil- However, it is difficult to evaluate this formula lion in 1995 to $234 billion in 2008. This increase in comparison to U.S. Federal Bridge Formula B is equivalent to an average annual growth rate of because there is little or no documentation on com- 8.75 percent (1). The number of trucks that crossed pliance with Mexico's bridge construction stan- the border from Mexico into the United States grew dards, monitoring of bridge construction, or bridge from 2.9 million in 1995 to 4.9 million in 2008 (see maintenance. Figure 2). The United States is more conservative than Mex- Land trade between Mexico and the United States ico and Canada in permissible GVW. Nonetheless, is concentrated heavily at a limited number of ports of one element of the Mexican experience that may entry (POEs). Texas POEs near Laredo, El Paso, and have relevance for the United States involves desig- Hidalgo (Pharr/McAllen); California POEs at Otay nating specific routes for heavier vehicles. However, Mesa and Calexico-East; and the Arizona POE at if heavier truck limits were permitted, there could be Nogales handled 90 percent of the total trade by increases in administrative and enforcement costs on truck between the two countries. The Laredo POE is 6,000,000 5,000,000 4,000,000 No. of Trucks TX CA 3,000,000 AZ NM 2,000,000 1,000,000 0 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Year Figure 2 Trucks entering the United States from Mexico. 3
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120 100 Billion Dollars 80 60 40 20 - as as ia as o a as ia ic on rn rn ex ex ex ex ex riz ifo ifo -T -T -T -T M al al -A o so go lle ew -C C d es vi Pa - re al -N a st ns id al La es Ea El H og ow sa M o- N re Br y ic Te ta ex O a al nt C Figure 3 Value of U.S./Mexico truck trade by port of entry--2010. Sa by far the largest, with 38 percent of the total trade in transportation undersecretary and includes four 2010, and Laredo and El Paso combined handled groups of members: 56 percent of the total 2010 truck trade (see Fig- · Federal agencies of the government ure 3). Truck trade between Mexico and the United Economy States is expected to continue growing. Freight trans- Security portation in Mexico is dominated by trucks. More Treasury than 80 percent of the total tonnage transported in Environment Mexico by land modes is moved by truck. Foreign Relations Health Vehicle Size and Weight Regulations National Defense State Department Several rules and regulations define the opera- Tourism tion of commercial vehicles in Mexico. Laws, or Labor "reglamentos," establish in general terms the subject Agriculture, Fishing, and Natural Resources matter regulations, and the standards, or "normas," PEMEX (the state oil company) define the detail. The regulations have one or more · Industry and trade organizations, includ- Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOM) (Official Standard). ing those involved in transportation such as The Mexican Official Standards provide greater detail Camara Nacional del Autotransporte de Carga pertaining to the content of the regulations. (CANACAR), a trade association represent- In Mexico, the federal government--through the ing individual carriers within the Mexican Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT) trucking industry; Asociación Nacional de Pro- (Ministry of Communications and Transport)-- ductores de Autobuses, Camiones y Tracto- establishes truck size and weight regulations for camiones (ANPACT), an association of bus and operation on the federal highway system. The states truck manufacturers; and Asociación Nacional do not have the authority to establish different stan- de Transporte Privado (ANTP), an associa- dards from the ones established by the federal govern- tion of private transporters among others. ment, specifically the SCT. The Comité Consultivo · Education and academic institutions, including Nacional de Normalización de Transporte Terrestre the Instituto Mexicano del Transporte (IMT), (CCNN-TT) (National Consultation Committee of the Mexican Transportation Institute, which Standard in Land Transportation) develops the Mexi- is the research arm of the SCT, and the National can NOMs in the transportation sector. Ley Federal Autonomous University (Universidad Nacional sobre Metrología y Normalización (the Rule and Reg- Autónoma de México) among others. ulation Federal Law) defines the committee opera- · The Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor tion rules. The CCNN-TT is chaired by the SCT's (Federal Consumer Commission) 4
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The CCNN-TT's main functions regarding truck regulate the building, operation, conservation, size and weight regulations include the following: and maintenance of roads and bridges, as well as the motor carrier services that operate on · Contributing to the National Standard Program them and their ancillary services. by developing proposals for new standards · Reglamento sobre el Peso, Dimensiones y · Requesting that the SCT publish a particular Capacidad de los vehículos de Autotransporte NOM que transitan en los Caminos y Puentes de · Reviewing and modifying the NOMs if needed jurisdicción Federal (RPD) (Regulation Con- · Coordinating with other groups as needed cerning Weights, Dimensions, and Capacity of · Analyzing the Manifestación de Impacto Reg- Commercial Vehicles that Travel on the High- ulatorio (MIR), a regulatory impact statement. ways and Bridges of Federal Jurisdiction) from The CCNN-TT meets at least every 3 months and November 2006. This regulation aims to reg- also has subcommittees that analyze the NOMs with ulate weight, size, and capacity of commercial more detail. Before any regulation or NOM is pub- vehicles, and includes maximum truck weight lished in Diario Oficial de la Federación (the Mexican and size limits. Federal Register), it has to go through a process of · Reglamento de Autotransporte Federal y Ser- approval by la Comisión Federal de Mejora Regulato- vicios Auxiliares (RAFSA) (Regulation of ria (COFEMER) (the Federal Regulatory Improve- Federal Motor Transportation and Auxiliary ment Commission). The COFEMER requires that Services). The latest update was in November all federal agencies present a Regulatory Impact of 2000. The objective of this statute is to regu- Statement (MIR) with the draft NOM. The MIR is late the motor carrier passenger, tourism, and open to the public for comments, and if it is approved cargo services as well as their ancillary services. and the cost-benefit analysis results are positive, The SCT is responsible for its enforcement. the COFEMER approves the MIR, and the NOM is · Reglamento del Servicio de Medicina Preven- published. tiva en el Transporte (RSMPT) (Regulation of The year associated with each NOM is the year Preventive Medicine Services for Transporta- it was first initiated, in this case by the SCT, and tion), with the latest update in 2004. The objec- the NOM usually keeps the same "year" name if tive of this regulation is to establish and regulate minor updates or delays cause its subsequent imple- preventive medicine services in transportation, mentation to occur in a different year. Major changes through the practice of comprehensive psy- might cause the year to be modified (e.g., NOM-012- chophysical tests and medical and toxicological SCT-2-1995 was initially published in 1995 and was exams, in order to have a personal record for modified several times until it was finally replaced by Mexican or foreign commercial vehicle drivers. NOM-012-SCT-2-2008, which was approved in · Reglamento de Tránsito en Carreteras Fed- 2008). erales (RTCF) (Regulation of Circulation on The first regulation that established general stan- Federal Highways) dated April 2004. The dards for commercial vehicles was the Capitulo XI objective is to regulate the circulation of all del Reglamento del Capítulo de Explotación de types of vehicles. Caminos de la Ley de Vías Generales de Comuni- The main standard that establishes commercial cación que Trata del Peso y otras Características de vehicle specifications is Norma Oficial Mexicana los Vehículos (the Regulation Concerning Weights NOM-012-SCT-2-1994 sobre el Peso y Dimensiones and Other Vehicle Characteristics). The publication Máximas con los que Pueden Circular los Vehículos of this regulation in 1980 was the first time that the de Autotransporte que Transitan en los Caminos y federal government had published rules for large Puentes de Jurisdicción Federal, the Maximum commercial vehicles. Weight and Dimensions of Motor Transport Vehicles Other related regulations that led to the current Traveling on Federal Jurisdiction Roads and Bridges standards include the following: (NOM-012). The first version was published in 1994 · Ley de Caminos, Puentes y Autotransporte and was NOM-012-SCT-2-1994. Federal (LCPAF) (Law of Roads, Bridges, This regulation has been the subject of numer- and Federal Motor Transportation) from ous changes and has encountered major opposition October 2004. The objective of this law is to from the private transportation sector. The private 5
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sector, represented by the National Association of Pri- vate Transporters, ANTP, claimed that the new regu- lation, which would reduce the gross vehicle weight (GVW) limits of some truck configurations, would compromise Mexican competitiveness. After several revisions of the 1995 version (NOM-012-SCT-2-1995) and negotiations with the private sector, the SCT developed the latest revision (NOM-012-SCT-2-2008), which is the one currently in use. Table 1 presents the commercial vehicle configu- rations with one or more trailers allowed in Mexico according to the latest NOM-012. Figure 4 shows a typical T3-S2 Mexican five-axle combination vehicle operating along the commercial zone along the U.S. Figure 4 T3-S2 vehicle used in Mexico and operating side of the border. This truck is similar in dimen- in Texas. Table 1. Current commercial vehicle configurations sions to U.S. five-axle vehicles and is required to meet allowed in Mexico. the weight limits allowed in the United States. Since Mexico allows higher axle and gross vehicle weights, Vehicle No. of No. of Truck many of the trailers have cargo offloaded before Type Axles Tires Configuration crossing the border to comply with U.S. laws. Larger vehicles, often referred to as LCVs, also T2-S1 3 10 operate in Mexico, but under current rules they are T2-S2 4 14 generally not allowed to cross the border into the United States. The United States allows LCVs on cer- T2-S3 5 18 tain routes, but under the Intermodal Surface Trans- T3-S1 4 14 portation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), these routes are not allowed to expand beyond their limits T3-S2 5 18 at the time of the legislation. Figure 5 and Figure 6 T3-S3 6 22 are examples of LCVs currently operating in Mexico. The T3-S2-R4 in Figure 5 consists of two 40-ft trail- T2-S1-R2 5 18 T2-S2-R2 6 22 T2-S1-R3 6 22 T3-S1-R2 6 22 T3-S1-R3 7 26 T3-S2-R2 7 26 T3-S2-R3 8 30 T3-S2-R4 9 34 T2-S2-S2 6 22 T3-S2-S2 7 26 T3-S3-S2 8 30 SOURCE: NOM-012-SCT-2-2008. Figure 5 T3-S2-R4 LCV used in Mexico. 6