Tornillo Port of Entry to Remain Open for Commercial Truck Traffic, Boosting Trade and Growth in the Region

EL PASO, Texas – The commercial cargo lanes at the Marcelino Serna Port of Entry in Tornillo, Texas, will remain open for truck traffic indefinitely, according to El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego. The decision by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to extend truck inspections beyond the March 31 deadline was communicated to local government officials and border industry stakeholders on Thursday. Samaniego shared this information with Border Report.

Currently, only around 50 trucks cross the port each day, but the traffic volume is gradually increasing. The decision to keep the commercial lanes open was also influenced by the anticipated closure of commercial lanes at the Bridge of the Americas due to future renovations, which could potentially cause bottlenecks. Judge Samaniego stated that this news is particularly exciting as it will alleviate pollution in the South-Central El Paso area and improve the flow of semis heading east. He emphasized that 48% of commercial traffic goes east to Texas, and there is no need for these trucks to traverse through urban areas.

CBP officials have confirmed that truck inspections will continue to take place at the Marcelino Serna facility beyond March 31. This decision has been embraced by manufacturing executives and trucking industry leaders in Juarez, Mexico. Manuel Sotelo, the head of a major trucking association, sees the Tornillo port as a permanent option for cross-border commercial cargo. Thor Salayandia, vice president of Mexico’s National Chamber of Industry, stated that the certainty of another truck crossing in the region could attract more investment.

The commitment shown by Mexican stakeholders to utilize the Tornillo port in the future played a significant role in CBP’s decision. They have invested in a four-lane highway and have prioritized safety measures. On the American side, Judge Samaniego has been engaging with investors to establish storage facilities and warehouses to facilitate the transfer of goods from Mexican trucks to American trucks.

The extended operation of the Marcelino Serna Port of Entry is expected to lead to increased commercial development in Far East El Paso County. This growth will likely generate the need for service stations, convenience stores, restaurants, and hotels. While there is still progress to be made, this decision marks an optimistic step towards improving cross-border trade and promoting economic development.