U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations at the Laredo Port of Entry announced a pilot program that starts next month designed to reduce traffic at the World Trade Bridge.
On November 23, CBP announced a pilot program affecting empty trucks crossing the border from Mexico into the U.S.:
“Effective Dec. 7, 2020 all northbound empties, with the exception of bona fide participants in trusted trader programs (CBP-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), Free and Secure Trade (FAST)) will be redirected to the Colombia-Solidarity Bridge … The hours of operation to receive northbound empty tractors, trailers, and stakebeds at Colombia-Solidarity Bridge will be from 8 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays starting on Dec. 7, 2020. Bona fide participants in C-TPAT, FAST programs will still be able to cross through World Trade Bridge.”
The World Trade Bridge connects Laredo, Texas, to Mexico over the Rio Grande River.
“CBP has experienced a steady increase in commercial traffic at World Trade Bridge over the last decade. This redirection of empty tractors and trailers through Colombia-Solidarity Bridge will help greatly to alleviate wait times at World Trade Bridge, provide for a more orderly and efficient facilitation of lawful trade while CBP maintains its robust border security posture and ensures compliance with more than 400 federal laws and regulations,” said Acting Port Director Eugene Crawford, Laredo Port of Entry.
Officials say that the plan to reassess the pilot program in June 2021 to determine whether to continue or discontinue the program.