Skip to main content

- Advertisement -

Mexus Inc. celebrating 25th anniversary, looks to attract produce clientele

By
John Groh

Mexus Inc. has been providing freight services as a licensed broker, along with import and export services to and from Mexico since its founding 25 years ago in Laredo, TX. In more recent years, the company has diversified its operations to include transportation, distribution, customs house brokerage and cold storage services.

“Our diversification has us working in several different links of the supply chain now,” said Cleo Gonzalez, who is an owner of the company and a licensed customs broker who runs the day-to-day operations at the Mexus CHB division.

Gonzalez explained that Mexus Inc. was founded as a freight broker and then began offering freight forwarding services, carving out a solid niche in the Laredo area. By 2006, it added a transportation division, Innovative Carriers, and the following year began offering distribution services.

Mexus CHB was founded in 2011, giving the company the ability to provide clients with personalized customs broker clearing by having its own custom broker in house with a national permit, enabling customs clearance remotely to all 328 ports including land, air and ocean.

The final piece of the puzzle was put in place when Mexus added Mexus Cold Storage in 2018, providing distribution services for refrigerated and frozen goods.

Mexus Cold Storage has gained the attention of the produce industry and is attracting more business from that segment, but Gonzalez said produce was not the target when the division was established.

“We had a customer in the hair care industry and we were bringing their product up from Mexico and storing it in Laredo before distribution,” he said. “But it’s so hot in Laredo that some of the ingredients in their products were causing the bottles to explode in the heat. So we added a ‘tempered’ room, which enabled us to store the product in a room that was not refrigerated but a bit cooler than the outside temperature.”

Gonzalez said that customer eventually sold the business to a German company, leaving Mexus Inc. with a large amount of unused space. They did away with the tempered room and built a refrigerated room, which enabled Mexus Inc. to attract more business from perishables.

Currently, the warehouse is located on 10 acres, and Mexus has 60,000 square feet of regular dry warehouse space, 35,000 square feet of refrigerated space and 30,000 square feet of freezer space. It is also in the design phase to build a new 70,000-square-foot dry warehouse.

Gonzalez acknowledged that Laredo traditionally has not been a major crossing point for produce, but he said it is the most important land port in the United States and Mexico has become the nation’s largest trading partner.

“On the average day, we are seeing 8,500 to 10,000 truck crossings per day between Laredo and Colombia,” he said. “That makes this area the biggest corridor for all goods crossing from Mexico. And it’s also one third the cost in drayage as other points of crossing.”

As an indication of the increased interest from the perishables part of the supply chain, Gonzalez said there are roughly 15 new cold storage facilities that have been constructed in Laredo since 2020.

He said the first produce customer for Mexus was in the avocado business and that relationship has blossomed, leading to optimism that more clients will seek out the company’s services.

Gonzalez said customers are afforded numerous advantages by working with Mexus, chief among them being a high level of customer service.

“Mexus is a family-owned-and-operated company, and we are hands-on, so when you call us you are dealing with an owner,” he said. “Also, we’re a one-stop shop for all your needs, from cold storage to distribution. We even offer e-commerce solutions and operate as an Amazon fulfillment center.”

Gonzalez said this level of customer service has enabled Mexus to maintain a stable customer base, which has grown mostly through word-of-mouth.

“We’ve never lost a customer due to poor performance,” said Gonzalez. “We’re always available and customers can reach out at any time of the day and we’re here to help.”

As part of getting the word out about Mexus and the Laredo region, Gonzalez will be attending the Viva Fresh Expo for the first time. “I decided to go because I feel it’s important to have a physical presence to help grow our business in the produce industry,” he said. “We have gone to food shows in the past, and I have seen the opportunities that are available. Plus, in looking at the list of attendees and seeing some of the important retailers that will be there, I am confident that this will be a great opportunity to help develop our business.”

John Groh

John Groh

About John Groh  |  email

John Groh graduated from the University of San Diego in 1989 with a bachelors of arts degree in English. Following a brief stint as a sportswriter covering the New York Giants football team, he joined The Produce News in 1995 as an assistant editor and worked his way up the ranks, becoming publisher in 2006. He and his wife, Mary Anne, live in northern New Jersey in the suburbs of New York City.

 

Tagged in:

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -