Illegal Outsourcing

May 3, 2024

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The practice of outsourcing work to cheaper, more malleable foreign entities is an American tradition almost as iconic as the sound of a bat cracking combined with the taste of a watered down, over-priced Miller Lite at Citi Field.  It’s not easy to name or even think of a company in the country that hasn’t at least dabbled in this method of off-loading some of the more tedious and granular tasks a company may face.  When done ethically and legally, there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with this, however, like many business practices, the morally correct approach is usually not the most common one taken.  A classic, yet ongoing example of this is happening right now on the Texas/Mexico border, involving certain carriers engaging in a form of illegal outsourcing. 

According to various owners of trucking companies in the area, some unscrupulous folks are engaging in the practice of hiring Mexico-based carriers to haul their goods, as most of the time these truckers will work for significantly reduced rates compared to carriers based in the US.  Here’s the process: The driver will pick up a load in a Mexican city close to the American border.  Then, they’ll deliver it to another location a similar distance away on the American side, then either pick up another load to deliver back to Mexico or deadhead back without one.  Often times though, the Mexican driver will be hired again while still in the US, to haul and deliver another load within the country, which saves the company that hired them a significant amount of money, but of course is against the law. 

Texas-based carriers in the area have stated that this practice is harming their own, ethical businesses.  “We are having lots of issues with keeping and retaining drivers, keeping our fleets on the road in Mexico,” Alanis Barrios, CEO of Cold Chain Solutions said. “The shortages are due to the B-1 drivers. They can come into the U.S. and make 30% or 40% more, so you can’t compete with that in Mexico. The driver just has to get a B-1 visa to get authorized and they can drive in the U.S.”  

While all successful businesses are fairly ruthless in cost-cutting measures, maintaining an ethical approach is also paramount.  When engaging in practices such as this illegal outsourcing, companies and the people in charge of them can expect to get their comeuppance sooner or later, even if it happens when they least expect it.  Even though it’s never good to hope for the worst for someone, it’s also hard to say that punishment for things like this isn’t deserved. 

Works Cited: US carriers illegally hiring Mexican drivers to haul loads, sources say – FreightWaves

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