U.S. – Canada – Mexico – Trucking by the numbers

Mexican Cross Border Pilot ProgramWe’re still waiting for the much ballyhooed invasion of the trucks and drivers from Mexico. You know, the ones we’ve been told are coming here to take all our freight and put us all in the welfare lines?

Yet we never here anything about the Canadians causing the same catastrophe to our industry.

We’re continually hearing about those dangerous, unsafe trucks from Mexico driven by unqualified drivers who stay behind the wheel for days on end, propped up by booze and drugs, where are they? Do they even exist?

Add to that my favorite, that allowing a Mexican truck into the United States will cause dire economic consequences?  How much truth is there to all of these claims?

I’ve got some numbers to share with my readers. Numbers that opponents of free trade, cross border trucking, especially with Mexico would prefer you not see or know that they exist.

US - Canadian - Mexico NAFTA Motor Carrier Census

Motor Carrier Census Data20072008200920102011
US Carriers w/Active USDOT#690,188693,933707,067720,751725,331
US Power Units4,710,0524,689,0494,419,5354,582,9134,666,278
US Commercial Drivers5,458,1714,887,2194,597,3304,726,7194,801,733
Canadian Carriers with Active USDOT #22,67722,65522,68023,06123,217
Canadian Power Units141,407137,080134,027131,599131,897
Canadian Commercial Drivers184,984147,033142,363140,793140,849
Mexican Carriers w/ Active USDOT #14,62514,88515,06215,28715,506
Mexican Power Units44,52745,06545,36945,63446,236
Mexican Commercial Drivers36,44937,24437,68838,07838,921
Mexican Carriers w/ Op-2 Commercial Zone Authority6,8797,3807,6728,0308,474
OP-2 Power Units28,59729,19529,60430,48031,257
OP-2 Commercial Zone Drivers25,52626,31226,82027,54428,826

Since we earlier reported on the release of the much anticipated OIG audit of the Cross Border Pilot Program, Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA at offered his $.02 cents worth on the report. Spencer is quoted by CNN as saying

“The Inspector Generals report pretty much has confirmed everything that our organization has contended since Day One,” said Todd Spencer of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has applied a “double standard” to Mexican operations, he said.

Of course, like everything else coming from OOIDA and Todd Spencer concerning Mexican trucks and the cross border program, his comment is not exactly “truthful as the following table shows.

Rules established for the cross border program or stricter and the participants are held to a much higher standard than US or Canadian drivers. That is an inescapable fact. The following table proves the safety and compliance of Mexican carriers.

Roadside InspectionsUnited StatesCanadaMexico
Total Inspections3.072,41681,921240,345
Driver Inspections2,962,13181,436240,197
Driver OOS Rate5.3%4.3%0.9%
Vehicle Inspections2,030,36343,112212,910
Vehicle OOS Rate21.1%13.3%15.8%
Haz Mat Inspections182,8162,8806,115
Haz Mat OOS Rate4.0%3.4%1.9%
CVSA Decals Issues600,46612,67541,179
Total Compliance Reviews9,52311856
NOT RATED2,333811
Moving Violations85,0242,251258
Drug & Alcohol1,333181
Railroad Crossing38354
Total Crashes110,2721,37597
Fatal Crashes3,054342
Non-Fatal Crashes107,2181,34195
Injury Crashes43,67142131
Tow-Away Crashes63,54792064
Fatalities3,23336 2

We expected to hear the piddle from Spencer and OOIDA and we weren’t disappointed.

These numbers we’ve presented show the impossibility of Mexican carriers having any impact on US truckers livelihoods, no more so than the Canadians have over the past 15 years, and that is absolutely ZERO.

These numbers also give a very accurate statistical probability spread over a 5 year period that shows that Mexican carriers are perfectly capable of safely operating in our regulatory environment. Much more so than any numbers realized as a result of the Cross Border Pilot Program with Mexico.