After years of debate, Mexico is close to finalizing a bill that would say goodbye to daylight saving time in much of the country.

A bill to end daylight saving time was recently approved by Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies and is expected to be voted on in the country’s Senate this week.

If approved, it would reverse the practice of turning the clocks forward and back one hour each spring and fall. Mexico will switch its clocks to daylight saving time for the last time in the country on October 30. In the spring of 2023, the hands of the clocks will not be switched to summer time.

The cancellation of daylight saving time will not affect Mexican states along the US border, including Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas. By law, these states will observe daylight saving time to stay in sync with the US. The Mexican states of Sonora and Quintana Roa do not observe daylight saving time.

However, key parts of Mexico, such as Bahia – a region of central Mexico and a major industrial hub for cars, auto parts and heavy trucks – will be affected by the end of daylight savings time, logistics operators said.

“Two of our big companies—one in Bahia and one in Monterrey (Mexico)—I recently talked to our teams about the daylight saving bill. They definitely feel like it’s going to have an effect, Jordan Dewart, president of Redwood Mexico, told FreightWaves.

Redwood Mexico is part of Chicago Redwood Logistics and provides services such as digital freight brokerage, freight management and supply chain solutions.

Dewart said that could affect everything from trucking schedules and truck driver hours to regular business days across Mexico and the cost of deliveries.

“Any type of perishable item is going to be hit hard,” Dewart said. “If you add one hour of extra diesel run time to perishables at the right temperatures, or auto parts where you have specific delivery windows in just-in-time inventory, the one-hour difference takes an incredible amount of planning.”

Mexico’s president promises to end daylight saving time

Abolishing daylight saving time has been one of the initiatives of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his allies since he took office in 2018.

Mexico adopted daylight saving time throughout the country in 1996 to closely follow the time change in the United States, as well as to reduce energy consumption during the summer months. Another reason Mexico adopted daylight saving time was to facilitate increased trade and tourism with the United States under the former North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The United States, Canada, and Mexico entered into NAFTA on January 1, 1994. When Mexico switched to daylight saving time in 1996, total trade between Mexico and the United States was $131 billion, according to US Census Bureau.

The US-Mexico-Canada agreement replaced NAFTA in 2020. Last year, US-Mexico trade totaled $661 billion.

Daylight Savings Time has long been criticized by some Mexican officials for the effect it has on the mental health of many people across the country.

“In 1996 [Mexican] President Ernesto Zedilla brought us into line with the US after signing NAFTA. … It’s time to get rid of this disastrous daylight savings time,” the Mexican senator said Felix Salgado Macedonio said when he discussed the idea of ​​ending daylight saving time in March 2019.

Salgado Macedonio and other Mexican officials said daylight savings time is having a negative effect on people because of the twice-a-year clock change. According to the Mexican government, recent survey showed that more than 70% of citizens were in favor of getting rid of daylight saving time, and the energy savings from the time change were minimal.

“A study conducted by the Department of Energy, the Federal Power Commission and the Department of Health concluded that the health risks outweigh the importance of the economic savings obtained through lower energy consumption,” Abrador said on press conference in July.

Daylight saving time was introduced in the US during World War I to reduce energy consumption when fuel was scarce. The idea was that Daylight Saving Time would move further into the evening so people wouldn’t have to turn on their lights later. In 1966, the US government mandated that every state implement daylight saving time.

The movement to end Daylight Savings Time in the US has been growing steadily for years, and the biannual time change has been linked to increased rates of stroke, depression and traffic accidents. According to the survey from Monmouth University in New Jersey, 6 in 10 Americans said they would prefer a summertime move to a permanent location.

In trucking, the effects of a one-hour shift to daylight saving time could be deadly for drivers every spring, experts say.

“Losing an hour of sleep doesn’t seem like a big deal to most regular workers, but for an already tired trucker, the impact of daylight saving time is always significant — and sometimes deadly,” it said in 2019. FreightWaves the report

In 2018, Florida became the first state to pass legislation to permanently end daylight saving time if Congress approves the change. Since then, 19 other states have passed similar legislation to end daylight saving time.

In March, the US Senate unanimously passed Sunlight Protection Act, a measure to make daylight saving time permanent. The bill still needs the approval of the House of Representatives and President Joe Biden to sign it into law.

Ending daylight savings time could disrupt trade between the US and Mexico

While López Abrador has not made any known public comments about how ending DST might affect U.S.-Mexico trade, Dewart said it could also affect how shippers approach cross-border shipments.

Shippers will have to change schedules in April unless Mexico moves the clock forward when the legislation is passed this week, Dewart said.

“Builders will have to adjust, meet both with their suppliers, for example, to buy raw materials in the US, and with their customer base to meet delivery deadlines,” Dewart said. “For example, if the US changes the clocks in April, you’ll lose an hour crossing the border for half a year. This time will have to be compensated by getting up earlier, sending documents earlier. During large-scale production, this hour per day increases.”

Not all cross-border trade professionals believe that ending daylight saving time in Mexico will disrupt trade.

“As a cross-border carrier, we actually already get a taste of this a few weeks out of the year because there’s a difference of a few weeks between when the United States changes its clocks and when Mexico changes its clocks,” said Ed Habe, vice president of Mexico by Averitt Express Sales.

Cookeville, Tennessee Averitt Express is a provider of trucking and logistics services operating in the southern United States, as well as in Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Averitt has 4,600 tractors and 14,900 trailers.

In most of Mexico, daylight saving time is in effect from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October. Daylight saving time in the US starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

“Most border areas keep the same time as the U.S.,” Habe said. “In all my years working with shippers in both the United States and Mexico, I have never heard of any problems related to the time change.”

However, Dewart said that for several weeks (due to daylight savings time being set at different times) the US and Mexico are on different daylight savings time, requiring a major adjustment.

“What’s going to happen is Mexico is going to have to come in and basically start their day an hour earlier to accommodate most of the US customers looking for shipping news in the logistics world,” he said. “If Mexico ends daylight saving time permanently, it will affect half the year, which will certainly be a very big adjustment.”

Jose Minarro, Managing Director Sunset Transportation’s logistics operations in Laredo, Texas, agreed with Dewart that regions of Mexico such as Bahia could benefit the most from the end of daylight saving time.

Sunset Transportation is a 3PL company based in St. Louis. The company opened a customs brokerage office and warehouse in Laredo, Texas in 2019.

“In the Baguio region, traffic and logistics teams at factories in Mexico start work at 8 or 9 a.m., and when their U.S. counterparts arrive a little earlier, around 7 a.m., there is a gap that makes many supply chains nervous. due to lack of response early in the morning,” Minara said.

Minara also noted that there is a similar effect of the time difference between many Mexican and US logistics operations at the end of the day. The solution would be to make US-Mexico cross-border operations more flexible in terms of staffing and scheduling.

“The current challenge for the Mexican side is getting information or documentation from their contacts in the US after 5 p.m., when many people in the US are already going home,” Minara said. “If a Mexican colleague could have until 6:00 p.m. to request such missing information [from their U.S. counterpart]it will close some of the current gaps we face with these timing issues.”

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