How Does the USA to Mexico Shipping Process Look?

shipping into Mexico

Most companies who ship products internationally have dealt with the shipping process required when shipping products into Mexico.

But for those shippers just breaking out into the international markets, the whole idea can be a bit scary. The lack of basic knowledge about shipping into Mexico usually leads to frustration and most importantly, mistakes that can cost the company quite a lot of money. And honestly, it can indeed be a rather scary and complex process to dive into, no matter how prepared you are.

But, having an idea of how all the pieces fit and work together can relieve a fair amount of stress and worry.

So, in order to shed some light on international shipping of LTL freight into Mexico, we've come up with a few FAQ’s that we think may help...


What are the steps for shipping products into Mexico?  

When you set up an LTL shipment that needs to go into Mexico, there are usually 4 steps involved in the process:  


Freight is shipped to a local terminal

Most LTL shipments are organized into specific routes at a storage or freight terminal. This becomes increasingly important when you are shipping to Mexico. Depending on your port of entry into Mexico, and whether you are shipping to Baja California, or the main Mexican Peninsula, it will dictate which terminal your freight will head to initially. At this point, your freight forwarder, who is handling the border crossing process on your behalf, will take care of the rest.  


Delivery of Export Documents

Once your freight has been loaded onto a Mexican destination route, the next step is delivering your export documents. This is typically completed electronically to the Mexican Customs Department or a third-party broker who works with the Mexican government. Once the documents have been processed, the routed shipment is typically on its way to the country.  


Paperwork is Filed with US Customs

While it is important to file paperwork with the country of Mexico, it is also important to do the same with the United States Customs Department. In this case, the carrier or the 3PL, will file the Export Declaration to the US Customs.  Once the paperwork has been filed, and approved, the shipment may enter the country. 


Delivery of the products

This is the step that is incredibly important for the safe delivery of your commodities. When you work with a professional international carrier or 3rd-party logistics company, a representative from the freight broker in Mexico will meet the carrier and personally clear the shipment for entry and verify delivery of the LTL shipment.  


Where does an LTL shipment cross into Mexico? 

There are a few major entry ports in Mexico for LTL shipping. Depending on your destination, the shipment may enter from El Paso, TX (which is also Juarez, Mexico) near Laredo, TX (Nuevo Laredo, Mexico). It is also common for Mexican LTL shipments to route via Mexicali, Mexico if the freight is headed to Baja California, Mexico.  


How are Duties and Taxes Determined? 

Whoever is regarded as the importer of record is usually the individual or organization responsible for filing taxes and paying duties. This is a major reason why most professional shippers work with a third-party logistics company for shipping products into Mexico. They can provide the shipper with detailed reports that indicate exactly how much tax or duties are required for each shipment – before the freight is routed for delivery.  


Our shipments into Mexico covered against damage or loss? 

Absolutely! However, it makes a big difference as to who is managing the international shipping for you. Some larger LTL carriers offer insurance programs to protect against damage or loss up to $2 per pound. Additional coverage up to $5,000 per shipment may also be available or can be purchased on an individual case basis. 

This is another major reason why several larger shippers will work with a third-party logistics company to handle their shipments into Mexico. An experienced 3PL has working relationships with multiple freight brokers, insurance companies, and foreign representatives within the logistics space. This provides them with the flexibility to create a freight coverage program that is best suited for their clients. 


Are there reduced tracking updates because of shipping into Mexico? 

To be honest, it depends on which carrier you use. Most of the larger and professional carriers that ship into Mexico frequently have no restrictions on tracking updates. They use advanced satellite tracking or GPS technology that streamlines data directly to the customer. This not only provides them with peace of mind, but it also increases transparency and ensures the freight arrives as scheduled. 


Final Thoughts

The key ingredient in all these questions and answers is the presence of an experienced 3rd party logistics company to handle the movement of freight being shipped into Mexico. The professionals at Redwood Logistics have been working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies, to the mom and pop local business - protecting their valuable assets that need to be shipped through Mexico and other foreign destinations. 

If you have questions about any international shipping, we are here to help