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Kansas City Southern de México changes operating practices to speed up cross-border freight


Kansas City Southern de México S.A. de C.V. (KCSM) recently implemented several operational changes to reduce cross-border transit times — and more changes are on the way. The railroad is implementing new processes to ease congestion and speed southbound freight at Sanchez Yard, which is located south of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

Last month, KCSM began using a second main track between the Sanchez and Nuevo Laredo export yards to eliminate bottlenecks. To relieve yard congestion, the railroad also began moving empty rail cars southbound from Sanchez instead of switching empties.

In addition, KCSM started applying a $300 surcharge to freight with Laredo, Texas, incorrectly listed as the final destination instead of the actual Mexican destination point. Incorrect waybills cause cars to sit at Sanchez Yard — and increase dwell time and switching operations — until the actual Mexican destination is determined, KCSM officials said in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, Mexican customs agents last month began inspecting import freight on nearly all Sanchez Yard tracks without requiring the railroad to separate trains and conducted inspections during a newly added second shift. On Jan. 15, the customs agency plans to implement Sistema de Control Ferroviario, a new railroad control system designed to assign shipments a uniform identification number to reduce processing time and the number of undocumented export cars destined for Nuevo Laredo.

To further reduce transit time, KCSM officials are considering whether to extend customs department hours and add inspectors at Sanchez Yard, as well as operate longer trains and upgrade other infrastructure.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/12/2006