Kansas City Southern and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Open New Secondary Examination Station

August 10, 2018

Laredo, Texas, August 10, 2018.  Kansas City Southern (KCS) (NYSE: KSU) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to recognize the completion of the Secondary Examination Station at the KCS Laredo rail yard.  This newly-constructed building, co-located alongside KCS’ rail operations, provides CBP employees with a safe and secure area to conduct secondary rail examinations. 

U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar of Texas, Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz, CPB Laredo Field Office Director Field Operations David P. Higgerson, Deputy Director Bradd M. Skinner, Assistant Director Trade Armando Taboada, Jr. and Port Director for the Laredo Port of Entry Eugene Crawford, joined KCS President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick J. Ottensmeyer and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey M. Songer at the ceremony.

The Secondary Examination Station is part of the “Secure Corridor” cross-border rail operations strategy, which is intended to strengthen security, reduce blocked crossing time, and create better fluidity by removing current operating obstacles to the non-stop movement of trains across the border between the U.S. and Mexico.  This concept has been a focus of Congressman Cuellar and local officials for some time, and is consistent with KCS’ partnership with CBP, the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration, the City of Laredo, and Congressman Cuellar to implement a plan to improve the safety and efficiency of trains through Laredo.

“The Secure Corridor rail operations strategy, including the Secondary Examination Station, is a model for how communities, governmental authorities and private enterprises can work together to create outcomes that benefit everyone,” said KCS President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick J. Ottensmeyer.  “This new facility is one important element of a broader strategy intended to improve public safety, facilitate growth with our key trading partners and customers, and foster the opportunity for future job growth in the community.”

"The investment that KCS has made by building this facility provides a permanent and secure structure in which our officers and agriculture specialists can conduct inspections," said CBP Director, Field Operations David P. Higgerson, Laredo Field Office.  "It's a win-win as it helps us fulfill our trade facilitation and enforcement mission and helps facilitate future economic growth."

“Laredo is home to the largest rail corridor on the US/Mexico border, processing more than 20 trains every day,” said Congressman Cuellar.  “Streets are often blocked by the high volume of trains across the southern border, which impedes the ability of first responders to get to areas where they are needed in the fastest time possible.  This newly-constructed building and the broader Secure Corridor strategy will decrease crossing times, reduce waiting times when trains block our city streets, increase security, and streamline the flow of trains and trade.  It will also help ensure that CBP employees are able to conduct their secondary rail examinations in a safe and secure work environment.  Making these necessary improvements to our railways will help expedite trade processes and create more jobs, which will in turn greatly benefit the local and national economy.”

Congressman Cuellar added, “I want to thank KCS CEO Pat Ottensmeyer, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Songer, CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, CPB Laredo Field Office Director of Field Operations David P. Higgerson, Deputy Director Brad M. Skinner, Assistant Director of Trade Armando Taboada, Jr., and Port Director for the Laredo Port of Entry Eugene Crawford for their tireless work on this project.”

In August 2017, KCS, CBP and Mexican Customs (SAT) opened a new, joint Unified Cargo Processing facility at the Laredo, Texas railroad border-crossing to share Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) security scanning images; conduct Mexico export processing at the U.S. railhead; streamline the documentation review of northbound trains; and conduct joint inspections, when needed, on inbound shipments. 

The Laredo/Nuevo Laredo rail crossing is the busiest on the U.S.-Mexico border, processing on average 23 trains in both directions per 24-hour period, and carrying a wide variety of products such as automobiles and parts, steel, grain and petroleum products.  It is vital to the economic security of both countries.

CBP, Mexico Customs, KCS and Union Pacific are committed to continually improving this border-crossing for security, safety and efficiency through government and private sector collaboration.  Demand for rail shipments across this busiest international rail gateway in both directions will continue to increase in the future, particularly with growth in U.S. agricultural and future energy exports to Mexico.  New and innovative ways to keep this trade moving securely and efficiently over the border will be needed in the future to expand trade between the U.S. and Mexico and make North America even more competitive.

Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., KCS is a transportation holding company that has railroad investments in the U.S., Mexico and Panama.  Its primary U.S. holding is The Kansas City Southern Railway Company, serving the central and south central U.S.  Its international holdings include Kansas City Southern de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., serving northeastern and central Mexico and the port cities of Lázaro Cárdenas, Tampico and Veracruz, and a 50 percent interest in Panama Canal Railway Company, providing ocean-to-ocean freight and passenger service along the Panama Canal.  KCS' North American rail holdings and strategic alliances are primary components of a railway network linking the commercial and industrial centers of the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

Kansas City Southern: C. Doniele Carlson, 816-983-1372