TREND: With the continued increased restrictions along the border, total passenger and pedestrian crossings continued to drop in September. However, truck crossings with loaded containers showed encouraging signs of recovery in September, with the Laredo Port of Entry (PoE) up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis.
•The top 10 U.S. land PoEs from 2019 in terms of truck crossings with loaded containers all saw decreases during the January to September 2020 period on a year-over-year basis, led by the El Paso and Laredo PoEs with decreases of approximately 150,000 and 128,000, respectively.
•Nevertheless, signs of recovery were present as seven of these ten ports witnessed increases in truck crossings in September with respect to August. Moreover, several of the ports even showed increases in September on a year-over-year basis when compared to September of 2019, with Laredo increasing 6.7%, Otay Mesa 5.8%, and Port Huron on the U.S.-Canada border increasing 4.3%.
•The El Paso PoE continued to be the most negatively impacted, being down 17.5% in September when compared to the same month of last year.
•Total passenger and pedestrian crossings continued to show steep declines across U.S. land ports. All of the top 10 ports from 2019 showed severe decreases in September on a year-over-year basis, with the smallest relative decline seen by Otay Mesa at nearly 36%. The San Ysidro, El Paso, and Laredo PoEs decreased on a year-over-basis in September in terms of total passengers and pedestrians by approximately 43%, 55%, and 59%, respectively.
•Even on a monthly basis, the majority of the ports witnessed decreases, indicating that by and large the recovery for passenger and pedestrian crossings has yet to begin.
TAKEAWAY: While truck crossings improved in some ports of entry in September, passenger and pedestrian crossings continued to struggle. It is unlikely to see any noticeable improvement as long as the cross-border travel restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 remain in place. These restrictions were extended on October 19th until November 21st.