Laredo World Trade Bridge Closures

A severe storm on Sunday, May 23, 2017 caused power outages, flooding and structural damage at the World Trade Bridge between Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Immediately after the storm, all traffic was re-directed to Colombia Solidarity Bridge. Please read below for updates from the last few days.

Scroll to the end of the page for photos of the damage at the World Trade Bridge port of entry.


Update: Call with Laredo CBP Field Office – Friday, June 2, 2017:

World Trade Bridge (WTB) – General

  • Hours of operation for the weekend: Saturday 7 A.M. to 12 A.M. Sunday 8 A.M. to 4 P.M.

WTB Northbound Imports

  • WTB is now processing almost all types of entries they include Automotive,Pharmaceutical,FDA regulated, food perishables,electronics, and machinery.
  • FDA presence is still not available if an entry is flagged for examination it will be released by CBP and an appointment for examination must be made with FDA for on site examination.

WTB Southbound Exports

  • CBP reminded the Trade that it does not have any restrictions on non-controlled exports through WTB

Colombia – General

  • Hours of operation for the weekend: Saturday 7 A.M. to 12 A.M. Sunday 8 A.M. to 4 P.M

Colombia Northbound Imports

  • It was noted as has been occurring that CBP is committed to stay longer if Mexican customs stays.
  • FDA is present for immediate shipment examination at Colombia.

Colombia Southbound Exports

  • All types of controlled exports continue to process through Colombia.

Stats:
Numbers are now being seen as split between the two bridges with a daily increment at WTB (indicating operations are reaching normalcy).


Update: Call with Laredo CBP Field Office – Thursday, June 1, 2017:

World Trade Bridge (WTB) – General

  • In order to be at 100% will take several months, there was severe damage to the administrative building requiring demolition of exterior walls, total reconstruction of the roof and AC systems, estimated completion date up to 120 days.
  • Modular buildings for support and administrative staff is estimated to be in place between June 20-23
  • Hours of operation continue to be 7am-midnight with overtime support given as long as Mexico customs allows shipments through, confirmation pending on hours of operation for the weekend

WTB Northbound Imports

  • The following shipments are allowed to cross: CTPAT/Fast, Empties, Racks, Automotive, Informals, Agriculture/Perishables, Produce, FDA Regulated (note: FDA officials do not currently do not have a presence at this POE), Machinery, Electronics, Pharmaceuticals

WTB Southbound Exports

  • All modes of commercial traffic are being allowed no CBP restrictions

Colombia

  • Hours of operation continue to be 7am-midnight with overtime support given as long as Mexico customs allows shipments through; Confirmation pending on hours of operation for the weekend
  • All modes of commercial traffic

Stats for the Past Week:

  • May 31: WTB 3,611 NB Total 6,753 SB Total; Colombia 4,052 NB Total  1,000 SB Total
  • June 1 as of 14:00 CST: WTB 2,005 NB Total; Colombia 2,056 NB Total

Current average crossings for the last 2 weeks is 5,935.
Average for the week before the storm was at 5,945


Update: Call with Laredo CBP Field Office – Wednesday, May 31, 2017:

World Trade Bridge (WTB) – General

  • The modular building to hold all CBP personnel is in process and should be in place by June 23rd at the latest but CBP is pushing to get this accomplished sooner.
  • GSA contractors are on site addressing the moisture levels and expect it be completed by June 1st, they can then start on building repairs
  • All primary booths are functional, today 13 of the 15 booths were utilized
  • Hours of operation continue to be 7am-midnight with overtime support given as long as Mexico customs allows shipments through
  • MX Customs continues hold their secondary inspections there at the WTB (US)
  • No significant shift on Port deviations but there has been an increase in air shipments

WTB Northbound Imports

  • In addition to empties, FAST C-TPAT, Agriculture/Perishables, shipments of automotive racks and now Automotive shipments  are also being allowed to cross.
  • CBP is looking into adding Machinery shipments next but is still pending, They are looking at a risk based approach to adding pending commodities

WTB Southbound Exports

  • All modes of commercial traffic are being allowed no CBP restrictions

Colombia

  • Hours of operation continue to be 7am-midnight with overtime support given as long as Mexico customs allows shipments through
  • All modes of commercial traffic

Stats for the Past Few Days:

  • May 30: WTB 1905 Empties, 1252 FAST, 14 FTL/Other;Colombia 3723 FTL, 229 Empties, 62 Informal-CBP is requesting all empties/informals to use WTB to keep Colombia flowing with cargo shipments
  • May 31 as of 14:00: NB WTB 1678 Colombia 1586

As a side note from this morning’s association meeting, we have been advised FDA will not place personnel at WTB until it is 100% operational regardless of the modular building. This a union issue.


Update: Call with Laredo CBP Field Office – Tuesday, May 30, 2017:

World Trade Bridge (WTB) – General

  • CBP is looking into placing a portable building on the WTB compound to house both uniformed and non-uniformed CBP personnel-no date as to when this will be completed
  • Additional water damage from the Sunday’s (5/28) thunderstorms, the dehumidifying process is being re-done because of this
  • All primary booths are functional
  • 75% of the Inspection Bay is operational
  • Hours of operation continue to be 7am-midnight with overtime support given as long as Mexico customs allows shipments through

WTB Northbound Imports

  • In addition to empties, FAST C-TPAT, Agriculture/Perishables, shipments of automotive racks are also being allowed to cross.
  • There is to be a test with automotive shipments today. This is the next phase/commodity to be allowed we should have a response by tomorrow morning 5/31.

WTB Southbound Exports

  • All modes of commercial traffic are being allowed no CBP restrictions

Colombia

  • Hours of operation continue to be 7am-midnight with overtime support given as long as Mexico customs allows shipments through
  • All modes of commercial traffic

Stats for the Past Few Days:

  • May 22-29: 40,500 shipments (both WTB/Colombia combined) 2/3 Colombia, 1/3 WTB
  • May 29 Northbound: Colombia 3245, WTB 4297
  • May 30 as of 14:00 CST Northbound: Colombia 1500, WTB 1600

Update: Call with Laredo CBP Field Office – Friday, May 26, 2017:

World Trade Bridge (WTB) Imports

  • Fast / C-TPAT shipments are continuing to be processed, it was noted that for Northbound shipments there is no need to have NEEC certification from SAT to process thru WTB Mexican customs. Yesterday 442 shipments cleared all the technical difficulties that were occurring have been fixed.
  • Phase 3 planning has begun it will include the following commodities: automotive, machinery, & medical kits no time frame for it to occur was provided as contingent repairs on both customs sides are still needed.
  • Informal entries continue to be processed thru WTB.
  • Hours of operation for Saturday thru Monday will be 7 A.M. to 12 A.M.

WTB Exports

  • Empty Tractors, trailers, etc. are being processed numbers continue to rise 1,852 transactions occurred yesterday.
  • Inbond Arrivals, Cancellations, and vehicle export documents continue being processed at WTB. ( Complete exportation is only thru Colombia)
  • Hours of operation for Saturday thru Monday will be 7 A.M. to 12 A.M.
  • Export shipments to Mexico are only allowed for NEEC certified importers they should only enter thru lane # 5 or # 8 on the Mexican customs.
  • CBP does not have any restrictions on non-controlled exports.

Colombia Imports

  • Hours of operation continue to be 7A.M. to 12 A.M. CBP is committed to stay longer if Mexican customs stays, Mexican customs has not committed to staying after the established times formally, yesterday they extended their hours further to 4 A.M.
  • 3932 trailers, 192 Empties, and 49 informals were processed by CBP.

Colombia Exports

  • All types of exports into Mexico continue to be open 24 hours will be the same thru Monday.
  • On Sunday all types of Mexican pedimentos will be allowed to be exported / imported. ( Please note the regular time restrictions on certain pedimentos types will apply as previously established)

Update: Call with Laredo CBP Field Office – Thursday, May 25, 2017:

World Trade Bridge (WTB)

  • All but 3 primary booths are functional
  • Hours of operation for this weekend, including Monday/Memorial Day 7am-midnight with overtime support given as long as Mexico customs allows shipments through.
  • For WTB to be fully operational as it was before May 21st, will take several weeks. Different aspects will become available as allowed.

Northbound Shipments

  • Presently FAST/C-TPAT shipments are able to utilize WTB, keep in mind these shipments must also be NEEC certified for Mexico customs. This is indicated by the IC code in the pedimento. Mexico customs will not allow them to proceed unless it is included.
  • Agricultural shipments should go through Colombia being that the cold storage unit at WTB suffered severe damage and will be out of commission for a couple of weeks.
  • As of 4pm today 200 FAST shipments have been processed
  • 1800 empty trailers were handled yesterday 5/24
  • FDA FAST shipments may use WTB. Should there be a hold/exam required, the shipment will need to be held at a respective warehouse to be FDA inspected and acquire release

Southbound Shipments

  • NEEC certified shipments are eligible to use WTB, there is no requirement for CTPAT if it is a southbound move.
  • Inbond cancellations, vehicle exports, etc. may have paperwork processed at WTB but if the shipments are not NEEC certified the shipments themselves will need to cross through Colombia

Colombia

  • Hours of operation for this weekend, including Monday/Memorial Day 7am-midnight with overtime support given as long as Mexico customs allows shipments through
  • 4000 NB trailers were processed yesterday 5/24 up until after 3am, 5000 SB shipments were processed.

Entry

  • Secondary Entry Cashier site at the Laredo Port Office is available only for payments, do not use for stamping of statements, warehouse packets or anything non-revenue/collections.
  • Non-uniformed CBP employees will be off on Monday due to the Memorial Day Holiday

The next Status Update call is scheduled for tomorrow, Friday, May 26, 2017.


Scroll to the end of the page for photos of the damage at the World Trade Bridge port of entry.


Update: Email from Congressman Cueller’s Office – Tuesday, May 23, 2017:

Statement from Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) on bridge closures and delays in the Laredo area:

“Last night, as the World Trade Bridge closed and traffic was redirected to the Colombia Solidarity Bridge, I began receiving phone calls from constituents about significant delays. Immediately, my staff and I engaged with local, state, national, and international government officials to address the issue. I spoke repeatedly with Mayor Pete Saenz; Mexican Ambassador to the United States Gerónimo Gutiérrez; Customs and Border Protection’s Director of Field Operations for Laredo, David Higgerson; GSA (the General Services Administration); and others in Laredo, Austin, and Washington, DC.

Some of the delays at Colombia Solidarity Bridge have been alleviated by adjusting security procedures, opening additional lanes, and extending operating hours. The damage at the World Trade Bridge has been assessed, and we expect it to re-open this weekend. I will continue to personally monitor the issue and encourage any constituents with concerns to contact my office.
I would like to thank the dedicated men and women working on the ground at both bridges, from those cleaning and repairing damage, to those keeping commerce flowing while keeping the country secure.”

UPDATE:

Within the past 90 minutes, power has been restored to the World Trade Bridge. Officials from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are assessing the current functionality of their computer systems. Officials are working on bringing a mobile unit to restore IT capabilities and commercial trade as soon as possible.

CBP and the General Services Administration (GSA) are clearing debris from the bridge, in order to establish a dedicated lane for southbound, empty commercial trucks to cross into Mexico. This effort will reduce commercial truck traffic at Columbia Solidarity bridge with approximately 2,000 trucks per day and support the trade industry. Preliminary reports indicate that this phase can commence later this week, once debris is cleaned up and restoration of basic facilities and power. Mexican Customs is onboard with this approach.

We will keep you updated on the progress of these efforts.

TxDOT through help of local, & state officials the tolls at Columbia road to IH 35 have been suspended effective immediately until further notice.

Attached photos of trucks waiting to cross the Colombia Solidarity Bridge are courtesy of Sheriff Martin Cuellar.

CBP Call In

Please call in today at 5:30 (CST) to discuss the status of World Trade Bridge. Acting DFO Skinner, Deputy Port Director Albert Flores, and SAT Port Director Omar Solis will be available to discuss any new developments and the status of the WTB.

Please put all phones on mute by dialing *6
Favor de poner todos los telefonos en silencio, oprime *6

Dial In #: 888-675-2535

Access Code: 1547703

All the Best

Juan Eduardo Sanchez
Office of U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
2209 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Office Line: (202) 225-1640
Direct Line: (202) 226-0507
Fax: (202) 225-1641


Photos of damages via Stereo 91 – Nuevo Laredo’s Facebook Page:

Damage at World Trade Bridge Laredo, TX 2017 Damage at World Trade Bridge Laredo, TX 2017 Damage at World Trade Bridge Laredo, TX 2017

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *