Freight Dispatch Service
Since 1980, Freight Dispatch Service has been operating on the U.S.-Mexico border. The company is family-owned and -operated and serves as the anchor in an international group of businesses serving the trade and logistics communities on both sides of the border.
“Thirty years ago, my dad could basically run the day-to-day operations all on his own. Now that’s impossible,” says Adolfo Campero, the eldest Campero brother, with a slight tejano accent.
These days, almost every member of the family has a key position in the corporate group, which operates under the trade names Freight Dispatch and Unimex in Texas and Northern Mexico, and sometimes as far down as Mexico City. The companies’ customs clearance, warehousing, distribution, and trucking operations provide flexible service approaches that cater to a myriad of different businesses.
“Right now we handle everything from consumer goods to the automotive parts,” says Beto Campero, another brother, "but also, kale, broccoli,lemons and other vegetables.”
The eldest Campero brother is also an attorney, which comes in handy given the complex trade regulations the company must operate under. He earned his broker’s license in 2005. Constantly evolving trade regulations, growing competition and an increase in demand have made business more complicated since then.
Strong regional growth
“We’re expecting in the next ten to fifteen years, maybe a double or triple the amount of crossings,” says Beto Campero, Adolfo’s younger brother. He is referring to the value of freight moving across the border, which should increase due to the numerous car manufacturing plants set to open in Central and Northern Mexican towns like Salamanca and Monterrey.
Freight Dispatch ships goods north and southbound for a variety of industries mainly from one of four facilities. The total warehouse capacity in Laredo and Pharr – 150,000 square feet each – is partially owned and partially rented for greater flexibility. The transportation divisions have 85 trucks on the U.S. side of the border, 110 trucks in Mexico, more than 400 U.S. trailers, and 100 drivers. The business also offers customized services to a variety of clients including customers from the automotive industry, consumer goods and produce. “All of the services we offer complement each other,” says Beto Campero, adding, “We have evolved to cover all the different services because you try to help the clients with their most important needs.”
Freight Dispatch and Unimex are key figures in South Texas and northern Mexico, contributing to the work that Luis Bazan, with the Pharr Economic Development Corporation (EDC), and others are doing to promote the benefits of doing business in the area.
There are inescapable costs that come from doing long haul freight near the U.S.-Mexico border – fuel, replacing old tires and buying insurance for trucks and products. But those costs are constants in this industry and Unimex has worked hard to increase fuel efficiency and cut costs. “We started making sure that we check the tire pressure, which really affects the miles per gallon,” says Beto, adding, “We even have a sensor on the diesel tanks so you can see if it is burning it up at the correct time.”
The company uses various specialized software to track truck drivers, inventory and status of the product. Clients can check to see where a driver is at every point in the process. Unimex has established consistent digital systems for tracking clients’ goods and received certifications such as CTPAT and ISO 9001:2008 to help demonstrate that the company is a reliable partner in the industry.
Freight Dispatch and Unimex are strategically well positioned in that they provide a variety of customizable services, including customs clearance, warehousing and transport. The business often gains accounts by simply warehousing for a company, and once the team establishes trust, these same companies hire the dispatch for other services, such as freight. “There are all these different scenarios,” says Beto. “Sometimes the client wants the produce picked up at the first point of origin in the U.S. Or they don’t want to have any responsibility for the violation of damages en route.” But mostly, says Beto, clients trust the family business because “We provide...all the services from point A to point B.”
As the region sees continued growth through the strengthening of U.S.-Mexico trade, Freight Dispatch Service and Unimex will continue to serve as a trusted partner for customs clearance, warehousing and transportation on both sides of the border.