Roadway Express expands in Mexico Akron, Ohio-based Roadway Express Inc. has increased the size of its dedicated Mexican fleet and has introduced a new automated filing system for shipments exported to Mexico.

To expand its fleet, the giant LTL carrier reached a contract agreement with two Mexican companies to supply 24 new tractors dedicated exclusively to Roadway operations. The power units will be used to service hundreds of points in Mexico and will be available anytime the carrier needs them. The dedicated deal was reached with Nuevo Laredo-based Autotransportes Especializados GM Express, based in Nuevo Laredo, and Servicios Corporativos de Transporte.

'With the expanded, dedicated fleet of tractors equipped with Qualcomm satellite communications,' says Steve Kisslinger, administrative manager of Roadway's Mexican operation, 'for shippers there will be no difference in shipping something from Mexico City to Chicago as there would be from Akron to Los Angeles.' Roadway began LTL service to and from Mexico in 1989. The carrier also offers scheduled pickup and delivery in Mexico as well as special handling options.

Calling it the first in a series of enhancements to its Mexican market capabilities, Roadway says it will be the first carrier to participate in a system that electronically files Shipper Export Declarations (SED) for customers exporting freight to Mexico. The Automated Export System (AES) transmits customers' SED data before departure, then edits the information, and responds with a confirmation to release merchandise for export. The carrier collaborated with the U.S. Census Bureau's Trade Div. and the Customs Service as well as the Assn. of Laredo Forwarding Agents to utilize AES more efficiently.

Thanks to the system, Roadway customers can now obtain shipment status information directly from U.S. Customs via electronic data interchange. In addition, the data is updated instantly and accessible through Roadway's Web site or its voice response system. 'AES facilitates more complete and timely export data,' points out Bob Carr, Roadway's vp-international. 'It improves the entire border-crossing process and, in turn, helps reduce the time a shipment is in transit. Shippers from the U.S. to Mexico will be able to trace shipments easily, receive more accurate status information, and enjoy shorter cycle times,' he adds.

Dana shows nondrive steer axles Dana Corp.'s Kirkstall Specialty Axle Div., based in the U.K., introduced its new K-Series line of front nondrive steer axles. Developed for Class 3-8 OEMs worldwide, the group will consist of five models ranging in load capacities from 3,500 kg (7,800 lb.) to 8,000 kg. (17,800 lb.) models. 'We decided to introduce the K-Series range to incorporate the latest materials technologies as well as to meet current and future OEM market requirements, such as air disc brakes and unitized hub bearings,' said J. Michael Thompson, Kirkstall business development manager.

International launches in Brazil At an inauguration ceremony in Brazil, Navistar International Corp. announced the start of its distribution of International-brand medium- and heavy-duty trucks to customers in that country. The move makes Navistar the first new truck OEM to establish roots in Brazil since 1979 and allows it to expand its presence in the other Mercosur ('Southern Market') trade bloc nations in South America. Navistar will offer International 4000-Series medium and 9000-Series heavy trucks in Brazil. 'We are excited to be up and running in Brazil,' states Navistar truck group president Don DeFosset. 'In addition to the potential its market size offers, Brazil has the kind of infrastructure, supplier base, and work force attractive to us. It also allows us to capitalize on the geographic proximity of Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile under the Mercosur agreement.' Within the next two years, the OEM expects to have open 40 dealerships in Brazil.

UPS buys Argentine firm United Parcel Service has acquired the assets of Union Pak SA, a parcel delivery firm in Argentina, and has formed UPS de Argentina SA. According to UPS, it will use charter flights between Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Sao Paulo, Brazil, to reduce freight transit times and provide for later pickup schedules. Named general manager of the new operation is David Golden of UPS.

Eaton acquires Brazilian maker A privately held Brazilian manufacturer of automotive controls, TGM Automotiva Ltda., has been purchased by Eaton Corp. for an undisclosed amount of cash. The Sao Paulo-based firm, which reported 1997 sales of $9 million, produces a range of sensors, switches, and lighting products primarily for automotive OEMs in Brazil. 'TGM is well-positioned in its market and will be an excellent fit with our existing automotive controls operation in Brazil,' says Eaton president & COO Alexander Cutler. Sales from Eaton's Brazilian operations currently exceed $350 million a year, and come from products for truck and car makers.

Red Dot sets up in Europe Seattle-based Red Dot Corp., a maker of heating and a/c units for on- and off-highway vehicles, has created a European operation, Red Dot Europe Ltd., with headquarters in Ipswich, England. For several years, the manufacturer has had a European sales office in Marseilles to help increase its penetration with overseas OEMs. With several European projects pending, Red Dot decided it was time to establish a light-manufacturing plant in northern England.