Shipping Freight to Mexico With Ease is a Thing?
The process of shipping freight to Mexico is more than just a little bit involved. In fact, it requires quite a bit of preparation, due diligence, paperwork, and a whole lot of patience. Additionally, shipping freight to Mexico comes with a few risks. For starters, the potential for theft is higher when shipping anything internationally. And then there are the potential shipping delays due to political reasons and social unrest.
Nonetheless, shipping freight to Mexico does not have to be such a frustrating endeavor. And more often than not, it isn’t really all that difficult. In fact, by simply working with an experienced 3PL company a shipper can significantly reduce many of these common problems.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the three seemingly minor, but most critical items that all shippers can do to reduce the potential of freight delays, damage, or unexpected expenses when shipping freight to Mexico.
Following these simple steps will save you money, improve customer service, and help you better prepare for future international shipments. Getting your international shipping process locked in and running smoothly is more important now than ever as new trade agreement will soon be ratified.
Be Thorough with International Paperwork Controls
Did you know that the leading cause of shipping delays into the country of Mexico is inaccurate paperwork?
The United States and Mexican customs departments do not necessarily communicate well with one other. This lack of thorough communication is only amplified by multiple layers of paperwork, documents, and other regulations that must be followed.
Specifically, moving freight via LTL or FTL carriers requires multiple documents. This includes customs paperwork, the bill of lading, and duty and tax declaration forms. While having the right paperwork to fill out is important, the lack of accurate information on documents is what usually causes most shipping delays.
So, here are three things to verify before scheduling any freight movement into Mexico.
- Verify address, name, phone number, and point of contact for all parties. This includes the broker, shipper, US and Mexican forwarding agents. The information on your paperwork is cross-referenced with electronic files maintained with the country of Mexico. If the information doesn’t match, problems will occur.
- Receive and verify the contact information for the Mexican consignee (include the RFC or tax id numbers). This information is typically noted on the bill of lading but should also be included and verified on all other documents required for moving freight across the border.
- Do not skip any section on US export or Mexico import documents. Most shipping delays at the port of entry will occur when sections are not filled in or are noted as non-applicable (n/a). Every section must be filled out for freight delays to be reduced. If you are not comfortable filling out sections or have questions about them, contact an experienced cross-border shipping company. Better yet, just partner with a 3PL!
Understand Where Paperwork Needs to Be Distributed
Knowing where the paperwork needs to go is just as crucial as filling it out correctly.
Email the bill of lading and commercial invoice directly to your 3PL and customs broker. It is always a good idea to send the same email to multiple parties. With all documents attached, you can maintain an electronic paper trail.
It is also important to make duplicate hard copies of each document. The general rule of thumb is to make three hard copies. One copy of all documents is given to the driver. The second one should be attached and secured to the freight in an envelope. And the last copy goes inside the container along with the freight.
Be Proactive About Freight Labeling and Packaging
Freight shipped into Mexico faces more potential of damage due to poor road conditions and other environmental factors.
To protect your freight from being damaged, it is important to be more proactive about correct packaging and loading procedures for pallets. Always make sure to use high-quality materials, the proper stacking techniques, and make sure to secure documents and labels that note the correct consignee information.
If damage occurs while shipping products into Mexico, it is very difficult to determine the source of damage. After all, the freight will likely need to trade hands a few times. Combine this with the convoluted insurance protection of Mexican shipping, and you can see why it is so important to go above and beyond with packing procedures!
The three tips above can significantly streamline your cross-border shipping efforts, reduce delays and protect your freight as much as possible. It is always a good idea to work with a 3PL company like Redwood Logistics who has years of experience with cross-border shipping into Mexico.
If you are new to cross-border shipping or looking to improve your international shipping efforts, contact the experts at Redwood Logistics today!