U.S.-Mexico Trade Improves Through Otay Mesa
By Ana Gomez Salcido
Trade between the United States and Mexico has improved through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in the first months of 2018 compared to the same months last year.
According to a presentation by U.S. Customs and Border Protection director of field operations in San Diego Pete Flores, truck crossings at Otay are up by 4 percent this year compared to last year. Also, the value of imports crossing through the Otay Port is also up by more than 20 percent.
This port of entry continues to be the main San Diego-Baja California border crossing for trucks.
One example cited was the northbound crossing of loaded trucks through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry increasing by 21 percent in March 2018 compared to March 2017. Comparing those two months, the crossing of northbound empty trucks was reduced by 30 percent through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.
“We are having more crossings of loaded trucks, and we having less crossings of empty trucks. This is excellent,” said Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce executive director Alejandra Mier y Teran to La Prensa San Diego. “Through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, we import all types of products including televisions, perishables from Baja California and Sinaloa, items for the medical sector, and much more. We also export a lot of items needed at manufacture companies in Mexico, as well as some food like almonds.”
The Otay Mesa area has had many projects in recent years like the construction of new streets and highways to improve the transportation of trucks, all with the objective of facilitating the trade between the U.S. and Mexico.
One of the most recent projects is the construction of two additional lanes for the unified process between the customs authorities of both the U.S. and Mexico at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. With this project that began last week, wait times at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry are expected to be reduced. The unified process is known as the Customs Technological Integration Project, which started its operations at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in December 2017. And it will start operations at the Tecate Port of Entry this week.
The Otay Mesa Port of Entry continues to be the main San Diego-Baja California border crossing for trucks. In 2016, northbound truck crossings through Otay Mesa reached 899,336 trucks – its highest level, which was 75 percent higher than the 1998 figure. This upward trend provides evidence of the growth in northbound commercial travel due to the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement.