Charger Logistics’ new state-of-the-art facility in Laredo is up and running. The company aims to double its business in Mexico and grow overall capacity by 200 trucks and manage 600 trailers at the location.
Charger Logistics, which has its United States headquarters in Indiana, will use the new Laredo facility to serve as the company’s headquarters in the south, officials said.
“The new facility is the foundation for our growth in the Mexico market,” said Andy Khera, the company’s president and chief executive officer. “We really want to see our operations double here in the next year – it is a direction we are going to go in, a direction we are going to work hard towards.”
The Charger Logistics facility is located on 30 acres at 13620 Evolution Loop, just off Interstate 35 in Laredo. It includes a 15,000-square foot repair and maintenance bay, a 24,000 square-foot cold storage warehouse and an 80,000-square foot dry-freight warehouse. Charger Logistics does all the repairs and maintenance on its truck fleet in-house, officials said.
Khera said the company averages around 150 shipments daily in and out of Mexico, but seeks to double that number within a year. Charger Logistics moves a diversified service offering of goods into and out of the Mexico cross-border market, everything from produce to manufactured goods, to chocolate.
“We do a lot of dry van work, but the need for refrigeration is also big in Laredo. That is why the new facility has the 24,000 square-foot cold storage warehouse,” Khera said.
Charger Logistics also plans to employ up to 150 people at the site, including operations managers, warehouse workers, drivers and mechanics.
Khera said the tariff threats against Mexico and President Donald Trump’s trade negotiations with Canada and China have created challenges in the past year, but Charger Logistics remains committed to growing its Mexico operations.
“Our company started around 2003, but we have had shipments in and out of Mexico since 2008,” Khera said. “The overall vision of the new facility is to provide better facilities for our drivers and increase our ability to work with our partners in Mexico and really take advantage of the growth in the market.”
Port Laredo’s trade totaled $20.66 billion for the month of May, $96.71 billion through May of 2019 and $234.66 billion for all of 2018, the latest annual data available, according to U.S. Census Bureau data analyzed by WorldCity. Laredo’s World Trade and Colombia Solidarity bridges carry around 12,000 trucks across the border every day.
Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz called Charger Logistics’ new facility a “North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) success” and a “United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) success.”
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is an updated version of NAFTA. The USMCA still needs to be ratified by the U.S. and Canadian legislatures.
“We’re proud to say that [Charger Logistics] chose Laredo as a hub for its business. This means employment and a great deal of prosperity for many people in Laredo,” Saenz said.