Laredo Airport, Texas, consolidates with increases in cargo movement

By Viviana Cervantes

South Texas

August 23, 2023

Laredo International Airport , Texas, has advanced 30 places in the last three years in terms of cargo handling in the United States, and is currently ahead of cities such as Austin, El Paso, Lubbock, Harlingen and Brownsville, registering more of 808 million pounds (366,502,336 kilos) in 2022. 

The Laredo Texas Airport has growth plans in 2023, from new routes to the creation of storage warehouses, in response to the demand for nearshoring

The air terminal is in its best operating moment, occupying 40th place in the United States, and with this it has set a new record since 2015, approaching the levels of San Antonio, Texas. In contrast, in 2020 it was in the 70th place. 

The movement of cargo that this airport registered in 2022 also represents a 28% increase compared to what arrived in 2021, and the outlook is that it will continue to increase due to the nearshoring phenomenon, as it is located in a strategic area that It has a direct connection to highways, international land and rail bridges with Mexico, consolidating one of the most important logistics networks for international trade. 

Gilberto Sanchez, administrator of the International Airport of Laredo , Texas, in an exclusive interview for Mexico Industry , mentioned that there is currently enough infrastructure, capacity and planning to sustain growth, as well as to remain competitive. 

“For us, the analysis of the movement of cargo that the airport has had in recent years has been very positive. We already surpassed the numbers for Austin and of course for the entire Rio Grande Valley; we are ranked 40th in the United States, we are confident that we will continue to grow. We have great competitive advantages such as location, infrastructure, coordination in customs matters and the specialty in logistics”.



On the eve of meeting the demand for the following years, the administrator highlighted the investment of 87 million dollars in infrastructure maintenance, attention to various regulations and the expansion of the airport. 

The industries that use the Laredo International Airport obtain the facilities of the Foreign Trane Zone (FTZ) program, which provides tax exemptions during manufacturing processes. "The pieces are sent and can return as many times as necessary, the product does not pay taxes until it is finished," emphasized Gilberto Sanchez.

The relocation of companies, a phenomenon known as nearshoring , is the main aspect that has favored having more cargo movement in recent years and also the one that contributes to the positive outlook for the future.

Laredo is a city that shares borders with two Mexican states: Nuevo León and Tamaulipas, therefore, the opportunities for international movement are greater, stressed the administrator, recognizing that growth is accompanied by attention to new challenges and areas of opportunity. 

In this sense, there is the creation of new warehouses , so that in the following months it is expected to land at least two contracts for companies that develop and manage warehouses, in which various types of merchandise arrive, move and are safeguarded until they fulfill their delivery times.

"The logistics sector is a strong aspect for this airport, we have direct routes to international highways that connect us to Mexico and also to Canada, for example, such as Interstate 35. The projects of these warehouses will make a lot of difference and provide new opportunities," he pointed. 

In addition, the airport plans to land new destinations for passengers in the cities of Houston and Dallas in 2023, through airlines with a global presence. In 2022, around 111,000 people flew to local and international destinations from Laredo. 

The first in the United States

Sanchez pointed out that the Laredo International Airport, Texas, was the first in the United States to plan a joint inspection customs office, in which Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers review and validate merchandise in coordination with Agency personnel . National Customs of Mexico  (ANAM).

In this sense, the route from Laredo to Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, is crucial. “This is part of the good relationship that exists between Mexico and the United States, we are aware that time is money and that, by having customs with joint review, companies save on their processes; In addition, they have the guarantee that their merchandise is safe, in Laredo it was where it all began”, concluded the administrator.

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