Truckers now reporting 8-hour waits at California port of entry

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SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Changes made by Tijuana traffic officials on the south side of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry are clearly impacting border-wait times for truckers who are reporting up to eight-hour delays to cross into the U.S. It normally takes about three hours.

The city admittedly changed access points to the border crossing pushing trucks onto traffic lanes generating long lines of trucks in residential neighborhoods near the border.

“It’s become a bit complicated, it’s basically two lanes and it’s a struggle to get across,” said trucker Juan Carlos Casillas.

Juan Carlos Casillas has been a truck driver based in Tijuana, Mexico for 22 years. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

The traffic changes went into effect last week and according to Casillas, who has been a trucker for 22 years, the changes are not working.

Casillas told Border Report he’s on salary but many drivers are paid per load.

“That’s complicated for them if you have to make a delivery to say, Los Angeles, you’ll never get back in time to make a second delivery,” said Casillas. “This hurts our bosses too, our companies, the maquiladoras all over the border, and, ultimately, consumers.”

People who represent an association that lobbies for truckers, are asking for a meeting with city leaders to hammer out a solution, something the city has said it’s already trying to figure out.

But representatives say they have not heard back from the city.

One of those reps, Guadalupe Sandoval, went as far as to suggest the Mexican National Guard get involved to direct and coordinate traffic as a way to speed the flow of trucks all the way to the border crossing.

According to U.S. Department of Transportation, 1.4 million trucks cross the border through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry each year. It’s the busiest along the California-Mexico border.

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