How to Use Expedited Service for Painless Shipping to Mexico

As the second largest economy in Latin America, Mexico has long been a destination for economic opportunity. For U.S. companies, cross-border regulations, varying border operating hours, and differing procedures for both importation and exportation may complicate shipping and cause major supply chain delays.

One way to manage the complexity is by using an expedited carrier. With expedited service, it is not only the speed of the service, but also the level of communication that is provided which can simplify the process to move goods in either direction.

Expedited shipping isn’t just for emergencies anymore. Many companies use an expedite carrier simply to ensure precise delivery requirements are met, or premium communication is provided. Expedited shipping means less handling and greater oversight for each step of the shipment. Services are available in a range of truck sizes as well as airfreight.
Crossing goods in and out of Mexico can be a confusing and sometimes frustrating ordeal, so it is essential to use experienced carriers who can manage the process in a timely fashion.

Utilizing carriers that voluntarily participate in the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program with U.S. Customs and Border Protection gives an advantage as they are less likely to be examined at U.S. ports of entry.

Expediting Truck
At Laredo transportation hub.

Standard truck freight bound for Mexico typically involves multiple lengthy steps to cross the border. Once all the correct documents are obtained, a freight forwarder works with a Mexican customs broker to prepare the shipment to cross the border. The forwarder inspects the shipment to ensure correct quantity and description and completes customs documentation. Once this has been completed, and the duties are paid by the consignee in Mexico, the forwarder hires a local drayage company. The drayage company then moves the shipment over the border and through customs clearance. Once at the dray yard in Mexico, it is common that another carrier then completes the shipment. It is not uncommon for this process to take days or even weeks should any piece of information be missing, or an inexperienced carrier is not well versed in remedying these situations.

This process is much more streamlined when using an expedite carrier, as many of them will already have direct relationships with the Mexican customs brokers and are set up to have their shipments receive preferential treatment to be processed due to the time-critical nature of their usual shipments. In addition, there is often not another carrier involved for the drayage, as the expedite carrier themselves will cross and deliver the goods to their final destination in Mexico.

Before you ship to or from Mexico, ensure you are working with an experienced trans-border carrier that can manage the complexities involved in important trade partner south of the border.

Know Your Mexican Customs Documents

Shippers must understand Mexican customs requirements for goods moving into the country.

  • “Pedimento de importación,” the basic Mexican import/export document that must be completed for all commercial crossings.
  • “Pre-file” the document required for entry into the US from Mexico
  • “Carta de Instrucciones” a form that contains all the info for all parties involved to be on the same page
  • Commercial invoice (in Spanish)
  • Bill of lading
  • Guarantee of payment of additional duties for undervalued goods  (see “Customs  Valuation”)  if applicable.
  • Documents demonstrating compliance with Mexican product safety and performance regulations if applicable.
  • NAFTA Certificate of Origin for products qualifying as North American to receive preferential treatment. The exporter can complete this document and it does not have to be validated or formalized.