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Pressing North American road transport challenges in Mexico spotlight
Mexico | Cancun

Pressing North American road transport challenges in Mexico spotlight

29 Sep 2023 · Prosperity

Decarbonisation, border challenges and driver shortages led the discussions at IRU’s North American Transportation Forum in Cancun, Mexico.

Hosted by IRU member CANACAR during its 2023 National Convention, and together with the American Trucking Associations and the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), the North American Transportation Forum marked IRU’s 75th anniversary.

The event, sponsored by Circuito Exterior Mexiquense, featured IRU President Radu Dinescu, ATA Chairman Dan Van Alstine, Ontario Trucking Association Chairman James Steed and CANACAR Vice President Israel Delgado for an interactive debate with leading industry figures from Canada, Mexico and the United States.

The discussions zeroed in on pressing issues, including decarbonisation, driver shortages, autonomous vehicles, border challenges and security programmes.

Pressing North American road transport challenges in Mexico spotlight

Decarbonisation regulations and initiatives, such as California’s push towards electric vehicles, are pursued without considering challenges related to charging stations, electricity production and vehicle costs.

Such actions are especially problematic for transport companies from outside the United States doing cross-border operations, as they do not have access to incentives and credits.

The panellists emphasised the need to preserve essential technology options, including electric-battery, hydrogen fuel cell and combustion engines based on carbon-neutral fuels or hydrogen.

The discussions also focused on the need to keep border crossings open and traffic flowing efficiently.

Recent closings at ports of entry in Texas were considered unreasonable, unsustainable and a threat to North American supply chains essential for domestic and regional economic prosperity.

Border infrastructure should be utilised in a more efficient manner though the combined use of automation and increased personnel, minimising delays and congestion.

Pressing North American road transport challenges in Mexico spotlight

On the chronic shortage of truck drivers, the panellists highlighted the need to improve working conditions and training as well as attracting potential drivers from various demographic groups.

Driver shortages, forecasted to get worse without action, are already harming carriers struggling to find drivers to meet demand and disrupting supply chains across North America and the globe.

Awards and Charter 75

IRU awards, including the Diploma of Honour for outstanding drivers and the Top Road Transport Manager award, were presented to winners from Mexican road transport companies.

A special signing ceremony also took place for IRU’s Charter 75, an industry pledge reinforcing the road transport industry’s commitment to help people in times of crisis.

The digital version of the IRU Charter 75, available in six languages, can be signed online.