In 2020, Mexico became the leading trade partner for the United States for the first time in history. While the trading relationship between the U.S. and Mexico has always been fruitful, the recent increase in trade growth is impressive, with Mexico surpassing China and Canada to occupy the top trading spot.
With trade activity between the U.S. and Mexico projected to increase in 2021, it's more important than ever to ensure that your shipments are properly packed, transported, and delivered with the required documentation. Below is a look at the top logistics challenges for U.S.-Mexico traders and the keys to successful cross-border logistics.
What are the top challenges facing U.S.-Mexico traders?
Mexico's geographic proximity to the United States makes it an ideal trading partner in many respects. But logistics challenges can complicate trade for importers and exporters who lack a strategy for cross-border shipping. Some of the top barriers to success for U.S.-Mexico traders are as follows:
- Customs clearance issues
- Cargo theft
- Paperwork-related delays
- Product damage
- Missed deadlines
How can a trusted trans-border logistics company help you overcome these challenges?
Partnering with a trusted logistics company is the single best way to help you overcome the challenges above. Here are some specific ways an experienced trans-border logistics company can help ensure shipments between the United States and Mexico arrive safely and on time.
1) Provide a secure warehouse on the border
Partnering with a logistics company with a warehouse on the US-Mexico border offers a host of benefits. For starters, cross-border activity may involve unpredictable delays that can temporarily derail a shipment. The ability to temporarily store cargo at a secure warehouse close to the border prevents the sender from having to arrange a full return or abandon the shipment while any issues are resolved. Here are some other benefits of choosing a partner with a warehouse close to the border:
Consolidation Services: Collect and organize multiple shipments from the same sender prior to cross-border dispatch
Surveillance: Experience peace of mind knowing your products are safely stored and monitored around the clock
Packaging Services: Provide a place to professionally package goods for safe cross-border shipment
Cost Savings: The carrier can choose from a large network of carriers in the U.S. and Mexico to keep expenses low
2) Adhere to CTPAT Security Criteria and Guidelines
"CTPAT is open to members of the trade community who can demonstrate excellence in supply chain security practices and who have had no significant security-related events...In order to be accepted into CTPAT, your company must be able to meet certain security requirements." - United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
Short for "Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism", CTPAT is a program offered through Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The program reduces inspections for shipments being handled by certified logistics companies. In light of their commitment to working closely with CBP to implement security measures and best practices, CTPAT-certified companies have increased access to Free and Secure Trade lanes.
Working with a CTPAT-certified carrier is an excellent way to help your shipments reach their destinations in Mexico or the United States faster. Because CTPAT members must have excellent security profiles and strategies, they are deemed to be at lower risk and are less likely to be flagged for time-consuming inspections at the border.
3) Enable you to respond faster to client demands
Being able to store your products in bulk at a warehouse close to the border enables you to meet your clients' needs faster than ever. Depending on the nature of your business, you can shave days or weeks off the total time it would take to prepare, package, and ship goods from your company facilities.
For example, if a buyer in Monterrey, Mexico desperately needs ten security cameras manufactured by a company in New York, the process could take 10 days or longer - even if the equipment is in stock. Here is a hypothetical breakdown of the timetable:
- Day 1: The supplier receives the client's order. If the order arrives late in the business day, dispatch often cannot occur until Day 2 at the earliest.
- Day 2: The order goes through inspection, quality control, and packaging. Pickup is scheduled and the order is retrieved by a carrier.
- Day 3: The first day of cross-country transportation occurs.
- Day 4: Assuming there are no truck breakdowns or shipping glitches, the shipment arrives at the U.S.-Mexico border.
- Day 5+: The shipment is inspected and moved to the recipient in Monterrey.
Working with a company with a warehouse on the border can save at least four days for the client referenced in the example above. This could make a world of difference for the client and result in an increase in future business.
4) Provide five-star custom crating and packing solutions
Some shipments must travel thousands of miles by truck, rail, or air before reaching their ultimate destination. For example, consider a shipment of respiratory ventilators shipping to Mexico to treat COVID-19 patients. If the medical equipment provider is located in Louisville, Kentucky, and is shipping the ventilators to Mexico City, the ventilators will have to travel nearly 2,000 miles or more than 33 hours by truck.
Unless the shipment has been properly packed for cross-border transport, the damage is likely to occur. This is especially the case with fragile goods such as medical equipment, electronics, and machinery. When you choose a logistics company that offers custom crating solutions, you can rest assured that your shipment will arrive safe and intact. You also convey a professional image to the recipient of the goods.
What step can you take today to boost U.S.-Mexico trade efficiency?
Clearly, there are many ways a trusted logistics partner can help you achieve a more efficient and seamless trading relationship. If you would like to put your company on the path to cross-border trade efficiency, then reach out to us at Aries Worldwide Logistics.
As a global leader in trans-border logistics, Aries has helped thousands of companies import and export goods across the US-Mexico border. Since 1984, our CTPAT-certified organization has strived to facilitate trade between the United States and Mexico. With our climate-controlled warehouses and an experienced team of bilingual trade specialists, our mission is to exceed our clients' expectations through safe, swift, affordable shipments.
To learn how we can help you with your cross-border trade, we invite you to reach out to us at 888-502-7437 or complete our online request form. We look forward to serving as your trusted logistics partner!