Shipping Freight to Mexico FAQ’s

freight to Mexico

Throughout the year, there are multiple peak seasons for a variety of commodities. From holiday shopping to new fads hitting the market, there are plenty of opportunities for high volume sales periods all year long. But, as with any major rush, there are also always hurdles to be jumped.

Now, setting aside all the typical errors and general stressors of a sales rush, international peak seasons are where things get considerably more complex. This is especially true of shipping to freight to Mexico from the U.S. 

So, in order to shed some light on this specific hurdle of international shipping just a bit, we've come up with a few FAQ’s that might be helpful...


Question - What are the steps for shipping freight to Mexico?  

When you set up a shipment to Mexico, there are usually 4 steps involved in the process:  


Step #1 - 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 shipping freight to Mexico. This is because your port of entry into Mexico dictates which terminal your freight will end up at initially.

At this point, your freight forwarder, who is handling the border crossing process on your behalf, should be handling the rest.  


Step #2 – Delivery of Export Documents

Once your freight has been given a 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 can continue onto its destination.  


Step #3 - 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 this paperwork has been filed and approved, the shipment may enter the country. 


Step #4 - Delivery

Cross-border delivery is not much different than any other delivery other than the fact that there is a hand-off that must take place.

After all the appropriate paperwork has been submitted and approved and the freight is making its way to the country, a freight broker across the Mexican border should be notified. When the freight arrives at the border, the freight broker will meet with the carrier and Customs officials to personally verify the shipment for entry.


Question - Where does an LTL shipment cross into Mexico? 

There are a few major entry ports in Mexico for LTL shipments.

Depending on your destination, the shipment may enter from El Paso, TX (for Juarez, Mexico) or near Laredo, TX (for Nuevo Laredo, Mexico). It's also common for Mexican LTL shipments to route via Mexicali, Mexico if the freight is headed to Baja California, Mexico.  


Question – 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 all duties.

This is a major reason why most professional shippers work with a 3PL 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.  


Question - Is freight to 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 a major reason why several larger shippers will work with a third-party logistics company. An experienced 3PL should have 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. 


Question – Are there reduced tracking updates because of shipping into Mexico? 

To be honest, it depends on which carrier you use.

Most of the larger professional carriers that ship freight to 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

If you've noticed, there is one thing that all of these issues can benefit majorly from; partnering with an experienced 3PL.

The professionals at Redwood Logistics have been working with a wide range of clients to help them move their freight, safely and efficiently to Mexico and other international destinations.

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

Want to know a little bit more before sending us an email? No problem, we've made this video to explain our process...