Since the foundation of the Turner Group in 1992, we have always understood the importance of being close to our customers through the relationships we have built and the importance of proximity. To be there, where our customers are. Over the years, this has resulted in expanding our team and territory to include ten western states plus two provinces of western Canada and last, but not least, the Maquiladora companies in Mexico. So yes, today we are indeed an international company.
What is a Maquiladora?
A maquiladora (also known as a twin plant) is a manufacturing operation or factory in Mexico, usually near the U.S.-Mexico border, that operates under a favorable duty- or tariff-free basis. In addition, the administration facility of a maquiladora, the parent company, is in the United States.
The Maquiladora Program was established in 1964 to enhance employment and economy along the Mexico-U.S. border and allowed maquiladoras to be one hundred percent foreign-owned and operated. Initially, the program was developed in 1961 following the National Border Industrialization Program (which encouraged foreign investment to help stimulate domestic markets in Mexico).
Over time, many leading manufacturers set up operations along the border, which stretches 1,954 miles from the Gulf of Mexico in the East to the Pacific Ocean in the West. The region we cover borders California and Arizona. This borderline is 512 miles long with eighteen possible border crossing points, three of which are located in the San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan region.
The San Ysidro Port of Entry is the busiest land entry in the United States, with over 17,000 vehicles and 20,000 pedestrians crossing each day.
An Englishman in Tijuana
It is over twenty years since my first business visit to Tijuana. However, I am as dependent today as I was then on colleagues who speak the language and understand the way of business and can relate to the culture of Mexico.
Having Edgar Sanchez and Luis Nunez on our team has been essential to our success and our ability to support our customers in the region. Edgar has over thirty years of experience helping customers on both sides of the border. Luis, the latest member of our team, is based in Tijuana, right on our customers’ doorstep. He has become our “Johnny on the spot,” or should we say “Juan en el acto.”
The plastics processing industry has grown tremendously, and there is now a wealth of local talent and expertise ranging from production staff to senior management. The growth in talent means that not only do US bases companies benefit from a lower cost of manufacturing, but they also benefit without having to compromise on the quality of production.
Tijuana, for example, has become an excellent location for US companies due to the talent pool and its connection to ports and airports, availability of industrial space, and healthy cooperation with the local and federal government.
The Maquiladoras have developed in the last twenty years, and I still enjoy travelling there. The people I have met and worked with have been amicable, hospitable, and professional. But the bonus for me is the food. There are some fantastic eating experiences to be had in Tijuana. I used only to drink Guinness in Ireland, and now I only eat Mexican food in Mexico. Yes, the food is that good.