Recent traffic flow changes at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry have majorly increased border-wait times for drivers, which could impact the entire industry negatively in the long run.
Last week, Tijuana traffic officials made changes to the south side of the Port of Entry that have pushed trucks into traffic lanes, increasing the length of lines, forcing trucks into residential neighborhoods. and almost tripling the wait times for truck drivers.
“It’s become a bit complicated, it’s basically two lanes and it’s a struggle to get across,” said trucker Juan Carlos Casillas, who has been a trucker for 22 years.
Casillas, who works on a salary, pointed out that these excessive wait times could be detrimental to truck drivers paid per load or per mile. The long wait times reduce the number of loads drivers can complete, affecting trucking companies and eventually trickling down to consumers.
“That’s complicated for them if you have to make a delivery to say, Los Angeles, you’ll never get back in time to make a second delivery,” said Casillas to WANE News.
“This hurts our bosses too, our companies, the maquiladoras all over the border, and, ultimately, consumers.”
Organizations representing truckers are asking for a meeting with city leaders to figure out a solution, but the city says they’re already working on it and has not responded to requests for a meeting.
One trucking representative, Guadalupe Sandoval, suggests that the Mexican National Guard get involved directing and coordinating traffic flow, which could help speed up the flow of trucks.
The US Department of Transportation says that the Otay Mesa Port of Entry is the busiest along the California-Mexico border, with as many as 1.4 million trucks crossing each day.