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Kansas City Southern, U.S. Customers and Border Protection and Mexican Customs officials last week dedicated a new, joint unified cargo processing facility at the rail border crossing in Laredo, Texas. The facility will be used to share nonintrusive inspection security scanning images; conduct Mexico export processing at the U.S. railhead; streamline documentation review of northbound trains; and conduct joint inspections when needed on inbound shipments.As U.S., Mexican and Canadian trade representatives launch negotiations to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the new facility was dedicated to improve the fluidity and security of the cross-border rail corridor, KCS officials said in a press release.“This project, and others to follow, are essential to facilitate the goal of expanding trade and particularly increasing exports of goods such as refined petroleum products and petrochemicals from the U.S. to Mexico," said KCS President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Ottensmeyer.The Laredo/Nuevo Laredo rail crossing is the busiest on the U.S.-Mexico border, processing an average of 23 trains in both directions every 24 hours.For more information about U.S.-Mexico rail traffic and implications about NAFTA renegotiations, read this cover story in Progressive Railroading's August issue.
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