March 28, 2024

Embracing the Potential of B-1 Drivers in Cross-Border Logistics


The landscape of freight transportation between the U.S. and Mexico is evolving rapidly, with nearshoring efforts gaining momentum and freight volumes surging. Amidst this growth, discussions between carriers and insurance providers are increasingly revolving around the utilization of B-1 truck drivers from Mexico.

At Reliance Partners, we recognize the unique value proposition that B-1 drivers offer to cross-border carriers. While there has been hesitancy in the past surrounding insuring fleets with B-1 drivers, we’re witnessing a gradual shift in attitudes.

B-1 truck drivers from Mexico play a crucial role in facilitating cross-border trade. They are authorized to pick up loads in Mexico and deliver them to the U.S., before returning to Mexico with another load. However, navigating the complexities of cabotage laws and insurance requirements has posed challenges for many carriers.

Mark Vickers, our Executive Vice President and Head of International Logistics, highlights that while there have been limited insurance options for fleets with B-1 drivers, we’re seeing positive changes. “We have many of our standard insurance providers, insurtechs, and captives starting to play ball with us for the first time, and this timing is perfect,” says Vickers.

One of the primary concerns for insurers has been the disparity in driver performance tracking between the U.S. and Mexico. Unlike U.S. drivers who have Motor Vehicle Records (MVRs), Mexican drivers rely on PSP files, which offer less detailed insights into their driving history.

Stephanie Alegria, our Account Executive, acknowledges these challenges but also emphasizes the unique strengths of B-1 drivers. Despite the lack of comprehensive performance documentation, B-1 drivers often exhibit exceptional driving skills and a strong commitment to safety.

Alegria notes, “The extensive process to become a B-1 driver creates drivers that tend to be more cautious and more involved in operations, leading to fewer accidents and violations.”

The evolving technological landscape is also contributing to a shift in perceptions. With advancements in ELD data sharing, carriers can now monitor driver performance more effectively, easing concerns about driver accountability.

At Reliance Partners, we view the inclusion of B-1 drivers as a positive step towards enhancing safety and efficiency in the transportation industry. We’re committed to advocating for a better understanding of the value these drivers bring to cross-border operations.

While industrywide change takes time, we believe that opportunities for B-1 drivers will continue to expand as the transportation and insurance sectors embrace global perspectives and technological advancements.

To delve deeper into this topic, check out the full article from our friends at FreightWaves.

Additionally, mark your calendars for Reliance Partners’ 7th Annual Modernization of Cross-Border Trade Event in Laredo, Texas, on Aug. 6. Visit here for more details and registration.