Celadon Group Inc., a large trucking and logistics provider with a major presence in the U.S.-Mexico and intra-Mexican markets, said yesterday it broke ground for a truck terminal complex in Laredo, Texas, that, when completed, will be roughly twice the size of its current facility.
The first phase, set for completion by year's end, calls for a 126,000 square-foot warehouse operation with 20 cross docks, Celadon said. The second phase of construction, which will begin six to 18 months after the first phase is finished, will expand the terminal to 200,000 square feet and to 40 cross docks. The new complex will be constructed on a 51-acre site, Celadon said. Its existing Laredo facility sits on 25 acres. The older facility will be converted into a driver training school and a maintenance operation, according to the company.
The timing of the second phase of the project will depend on the level of customer demand for the facility during the first phase of the operation, said Joe Weigel, a spokesman for the Indianapolis-based company. Besides having significant cross-border operations, Celadon operates more than 400 trucks within Mexico under the Jaguar brand; Celadon acquired Jaguar Transportation Services in the late 1990s to dramatically increase its presence in Mexico. Celadon also deploys 150 trucks at the border to operate dedicated contract-carriage services from Nuevo Laredo to points in the Midwest and Southeast under the "Jaguar USA" name.
George Chasteen, vice president of Celadon's Mexican operation, said the terminal would provide customers with "additional resources just north of the border in south Texas that will facilitate (the) movement of goods to and from Laredo into Mexico, as well as shipments within Mexico." Celadon plans to move more than 1,400 Jaguar trailers to the Laredo facility, where they will be slated for intra-Mexico shipments, freight bound for Laredo, and shipments to Jaguar terminals throughout Mexico, the company said. The additional equipment should make it easier to transport northbound shipments to Laredo from any point in Mexico, Celadon said.
About 23 percent of Celadon's annual revenues are generated from operations to, from and within Mexico. The company is in its 30th year in business.