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January 20 2020

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38 The Journal of Commerce | Januar y 20 2020 www.joc.com Surface Transportation In the most recent example of state rules that concern the trucking sector, Jalisco in November enacted a regulation that took effect on Jan. 1, restricting the movement of vehicles carrying cargo in the metro- politan area of Guadalajara, the state capital. Aside from stipulating when trucks can enter the area — no entry will be allowed between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. — the regulation gives the state the authority to use satellite technology to track trucks and sets a series of penalties for violations, according to the CANACAR analysis. The National Confederation of Mexican Transport companies (CONATRAM) said association president Elías Dip Rame sought to persuade Jalisco's Governor Alfaro to tone down the law, but to no effect, according to a report on the organization's website. Rame argued the region had been so badly hit by delinquency in recent years that "it wouldn't be possible to stop working during the night, since they would be easy prey for crime," according to the report. However, that did not change the direction of the eventual law, the report said. said in a recent radio interview on the subject. Permits under the Yucatán pro- posal would be even more expensive. While an annual permit would start at 5,914 pesos for trucks weighing between three and five tons, costs would jump to 31,000 pesos for a 20-ton truck, according to the Daily Yucatán newspaper. The state and local governments say the regulations are aimed at improving traffic fluidity and safety. In presenting the new regulations for Guadalajara in June, Jalisco Gov- ernor Enrique Alfaro said they are designed to reduce congestion and environmental pollution, improve road safety, and optimize the use of city roads. Federal pressure Trucking groups see the new rules as over-regulation — and a financial burden — for an industry with a low profit margin that is also feeling pressure from federal regulations. The federal government in 2018 enacted a rule that required double-tractor trailers — known as "fulles" in Mexico — to be certified, which some drivers said was an expensive and burdensome task. Several bills have been introduced in the Mexican congress banning fulles entirely, or placing weight limitations on them, on the grounds that the trucks are dangerous to the public. But none is close to becom- ing law. The federal government in August 2018 imposed hours-of-ser- vice rules that limit trucker work days to no more than 14 hours, with mandated 30-minute rest breaks every five hours. Truckers say the rules are especially burdensome because Mexico does not have the infrastructure, mainly secure rest areas, to enable them to comply with the rules. MEXICAN MOTOR CARRIERS say the growing number of new state and municipal regulations imposing fees and movement limitations on trucks carrying freight will result in higher transportation costs that will be passed on to consumers. The states of Jalisco and Querétaro have already approved such laws, according to the National Chamber of Autotransporters of Cargo (CANACAR) and the National Association of Private Transport users (ANTP), two of Mexico's largest trucking groups. The state of Yucatán is evaluating a similar proposal, according to CANACAR. Mexico City has already approved a regulation to take effect in March limiting truck movement in the city at certain hours, according to Mexi- can trade media. The various state and municipal regulations range from limitations on when trucks can load and unload and what roads they can travel to the hours they can enter particular areas, according to a December anal- ysis of the rules by CANACAR. Some of the greatest concern stems from requirements that truck- ers pay hundreds of dollars to obtain a government-issued permit to enter designated zones, or face penalties for violating the rules, the analysis said. In the Pacific Coast state of Jalisco, where the regulations focus mainly on trucks moving cargo in and out of Guadalajara, the annual permit would cost about 6,000 pesos (US $320), or truckers could purchase a 72-hour permit for 1,000 pesos, according to CANACAR and press reports. "This is unfortunately going to impact the economic viability of the national logistics system, because it's not only a problem for [truck] operators, but also for the custom- ers," Enrique González Muñoz, the executive president of CANACAR, Overloaded Truckers in Mexico say new regulations will push up transport costs By Hugh R. Morley New regulations in Mexico aim to limit truck movements in busy metropolitan areas like Mexico City (pictured) and Guadalajara during peak traffic times. Shtterstock.com

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