Shipping from Mexico to USA

Shipping from Mexico to USA: The Ultimate Guide

This guide covers all information about shipping from Mexico to the USA.

Whether you want to learn about the cost of shipping, labeling requirements, Bilateral trade agreements, packaging requirements, customs clearance, mode of shipping and many more – every information is right here.

Let’s dive right in.

Overcoming Cross Border Obstacles when Shipping from Mexico to the USA

Cross border international shipping involves the transfer of goods stored or purchased from one country to another country.

Shipping across borders has been an ongoing concept since time immemorial as countries have always exchanged services and goods for a very long time.

However, cross border shipping is a very tricky process.

Because trade and shipment regulations keep changing, the climatic conditions are unpredictable, and politics sometimes affect packages.

Despite the various challenges encountered during cross border shipping, multiple solutions can help you overcome, which include:

  • Timing: timing is an essential factor to consider when shipping from Mexico to the USA as a miscalculation may cause your packages to miss the deadline.

It is necessary to research and ascertain that shipments match your freight quotes and keep constant communication with the freight handler.

  • Penny-pinching: receiving low rates is not bad, but it is good to make sure your forwarder is worth every coin and provides full service as agreed.

Do the research and understand the forwarding company’s reputation before signing a contract; in case of red flags, search for a new company.

  • Insurance: shipping goods over long distance takes a lot of time, thus bringing a lot of uncertainties when reaching their destination.

It is therefore essential to ensure your interests to avoid substantial losses in case of damages during shipping.

  • Documentation: documents such as certificates of origin, commercial invoice, and brokerage can bring problems during cross border shipping.

It is crucial to seek the help of your cross-border shipping company to avoid such scenarios.

  • Customs clearance: all shipment trucks must obey customs when shipping from Mexico to the USA, and the security check is rigorous.

The trucks are always thoroughly searched to make sure there are no illegal items in them.

  • Taxes: all products traveling across the border must be subjected to tariffs on reaching customs.

It was essential to do your research before sending items across borders.

This is because government inspects the goods and collects taxes before approving them.

Labeling Requirements when Shipping from Mexico to the USA

Labeling requirements

 Labeling requirements

Labeling requirements apply to all imported products and are specified regarding a given type of product.

Overlooking a specific country’s labeling requirements in most cases brings about repercussions and may lead to exporter problems.

Some of the problems that may be experienced when you overlook labeling requirements include:

  • Your shipments will experience entry delays.
  • Shipments may encounter additional costs as a result of the additional penalties.
  • The shipments might be confiscated on entry.
  • There is a chance that the shipment might not even enter the market.

The following information should be presented on a product label when shipping from Mexico to the USA:

  • The product’s name should be visible and well written.
  • Business name or name and address name of the importer.
  • Federal taxpayer registration number or the industry association registration number.
  • Exporter’s name or their business name.
  • For hazardous materials, they should have warnings or precautions.
  • Handling use and care instructions where required.
  • Country of origin of the goods.

Shipping from Mexico to USA Trade Barriers

Some of the trade barriers when shipping from Mexico to the USA include:

a) Import licenses: certain products require import licenses, and the extent of the difficulty is different depending on the nature of the product. Products should be correctly classified.

b) Export controls: export control in Mexico requires a litany of documents that include:

  • Zoo-sanitary requirements form. The form acts as a permit for leather and meat products.
  • Early authorization imports on sanitary products or notification on sanitary import. This document is essential for medical products and equipment, and certain chemicals.
  • HAZMAT should have authorization from an interagency commission, including many organic and inorganic chemicals.
  • For items like powdered products and liquid gas, they cannot be shipped via courier, even in minimal quantities.

Shipping of these products must be done using a customs broker.

  • There must be a five-day waiting period for textile shipping, and reference prices should not be applied to products.

HAZMAT Classification

HAZMAT Classification

Bilateral Trade Agreement between Mexico and USA

Some of the bilateral trade agreements between Mexico and the USA include:

  • USA and Mexico are parties to the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which ensures the lack of tariffs for qualifying goods and services traded in the two countries.
  • However, there are tariffs in place for given categories of products.

NAFTA eliminated nearly all taxes on goods and also final duties and quantitative restrictions.

  • After signing the NAFTA agreement, the USA and Mexico concluded supplemental enforceable agreements on labor and the environment.
  • In August 2017. The USA entered negotiations with Mexico to try to rebalance and update the agreement.

USA and Mexico signed a deal on November 30, 2018, which replaced NAFTA and aimed to serve both parties’ interests.

  • The agreements’ primary objective is to rebalance and modernize trade relations between Mexico and the USA and innovative product origin rules.

It also aims to reduce outsourcing incentives by providing robust environmental and labor protections and investment provisions.

  • The core objective of the trade agreement is to enforce environmental and labor obligations fully.
  • USMCA agreement created a significant improvement on NAFTA in very many areas. And established extreme and advanced adjustments ever included in any trade agreement.
  • Mexico is also a member of the following trade agreements:

i. World Trade Organization (WTO)

ii. G-20

iii. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

iv. The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

v. Pacific Alliance

Shipping from Mexico to USA Custom Requirements

 Customs clearance

 Customs Clearance

Shipping from Mexico to the USA requires knowledge of the customs clearance and regulations that the two countries have imposed on each other.

It is prudent to learn the documentation names in English and Spanish because of most of the Mexican documentation in Spanish.

The custom requirements vary from one product to the other.

Before making any shipment, you should at least familiarize yourself with the following terms:

  • Importer of Record
  • Trading Company
  • HS Code
  • NAFTA Certificate of Origin
  • Customs Broker Agent
  • Mexican Entry Form

The necessary documents required by Mexican customs before shipping include:

  • A commercial invoice (Factura commercial).
  • Mexican Entry or exit form (Pedimento Aduana).
  • Bill of Landing (Conocimiento de Embarque).
  • Certificate of Origin (Certificado de Origen).
  • Packaging list (lista de empaque).

If you are shipping your goods from the USA to Mexico, the following documentation is required at customs point of entry:

  • Bill of lading.
  • Packing List.
  • A commercial invoice.
  • USMCA Certificate of Origin.
  • Customs declaration.
  • Sales contract
  • AES filing.
  • Proforma of the commercial invoice.
  • Insurance policy.

Products to Ship from Mexico to USA

Some of the products from Mexico to the USA include:

  • Machinery.
  • Crude oil.
  • Medical instruments.
  • Fresh vegetables.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Fresh fruits.
  • Processed Fruits and vegetables.
  • Snack foods.
  • Rubber.
  • Vehicles.
  • Machinery.

Documents you need when Shipping from Mexico to the USA

Some of the documents you need to ship from Mexico to the USA include:

Shipping documents

Shipping documents

Orden de Servicio (Mexican Bill of Lading)

The Mexican exporter or shipper completes it, and then it is issued to the fright driver.

It may be written in either English or Spanish as all languages are acceptable.

Export Pediment

It is completed and given to Mexican customs by the Mexican customs broker.

It should be written in Spanish.

NAFTA Certificate of Origin (if applicable)

It is uniform documentation used by both the USA and Mexico to confirm that exported goods meet the standards required.

NAFTA is completed and signed, and filed by the shipper or exporter.

U.S. Customs Invoice

Customs invoice is a document issued to the carrier, and it specifies the value and type of goods shipped and the shipper’s identity.

The requirement of the U.S. invoice include:

  • Adequate description of the merchandise.
  • It is the Approximate value or exact value of the merchandise.
  • Quantities of merchandise.
  • It is an Approximate eight-digit subheading from United States Harmonized Tariff Schedule.
  • Name and address of the firm invoicing the merchandise.

Inward Cargo Manifest

It is a list showing the contents of a shipment and must always be presented in hard or soft copy at the customs.

On the US-Mexico border, electronic manifests are supported.

The carrier uses the information given by the shipper to prepare the manifest.

Also, the broker, in most cases, does not receive a copy of the cargo manifest.

A customs manifest number identifies inward cargo manifest.

Once it has been accepted at the customs, close monitoring of the manifest and its number takes place to ensure the clearing and shipment process adjourns.

Packing List

A shipping company issued a packing list that will show you all goods shipped and the packing information.

The importance of a shipping list in the shipping process includes:

  • It informs all the parties involved in the importation process about the contents of the baggage.
  • When the buyer confirms the number of goods received, it can be used as a guide.
  • The packing list is essential in booking space for shipping goods with international carriers.
  • The details in the packing list make it possible to obtain a certificate of origin.
  • It Serves as proof for an inland bill of lading.

Information provided in the packing list includes:

  • Each package’s quantity.
  • Model numbers of the products.
  • Dimensions of the products.
  • The number of commercial invoices.
  • It is A detailed description of each package.
  • Delivery destination.
  • Contact address of the Consignee.
  • It Details and contact of the shipper.

Commercial Invoice

It is a formal note for payment and is used in customs to declare that the goods are exported across international borders.

The exporter prepares this invoice.

Some sellers might want to pay fewer taxes to escape some formalities.

If the commercial invoice is checked carefully, and this is established, might your goods be withheld, and you may suffer losses.

Information contained in the commercial invoice includes:

  • a Harmonized system code for the goods.
  • The country where manufactured goods come from.
  • The Parties involved in the entire process.
  • Description of goods.
  • Tax identification numbers of both seller and buyer and their information.
  • S. code.
  • Currency to be used.
  • Exportation date.
  • The number of bills of lading.
  • Instructions for payment.
  • The destination of the goods.
  • Delivery terms.

Cost of Shipping from Mexico to the USA

Shipping costs between the USA and Mexico vary depending on which state in the USA the goods are being shipped e to.

For example, goods imported from Mexico to Texas will be cheaper than goods shipped to New York.

Shipping between the USA and Mexico consist of three main parts that include:

  • Shipping costs between the two countries start from eight dollars for the first kilogram and two dollars each for the next kilogram. The type of arrangement is commonly known as flat shipping rates.
  • Another part is the custom and tax duty, which is usually 16% of the merchandise’s value.
  • The last component is the handling fee that is five dollars for every inbound package.

It is worth noting that the shipping cost between Mexico and The U.S. varies significantly depending on the type of products shipped.

The methods of ships such as Amazon Mexico FBA or Mercado Libre will also determine the shipment cost.

Quality Standard Requirements to Consider when Shipping from Mexico to the USA

Mexico quality standards are categorized into three categories that include:

  • Mexican Standards (Normas Mexicanas, or NMXs).
  • Official Mexican Standards (Normas Oficiales Mexicanas, or NOMs) are the Mexican government’s technical regulations and agencies.
  • Reference Standards (Normas de Referencia Federal, or MRFs).

The quality standards according to product categories should include:

  • IMNC—Instituto Mexicano De Normalización y Certificación, A.C. (Mexican Institute of Standardization and Certification).
  • CALMECAC—Calidad Mexicana Certificada, A.C. (certifies Mexican quality).
  • CNCP—Centro Nacional Para la Calidad del Plástico (Mexican Center for the Quality of Plastics).
  • CRT—Consejo Regulador Del Tequila (Tequila Regulation Council).
  • INNTEX—Instituto Nacional De Normalización Textil, A.C. (Mexican Institute of Textile Standardization).
  • ANCE—Asociación de Normalización y Certificación (product certification body for the electric sector NOMs).
  • NORMEX—Sociedad Mexicana de Normalización y Certificación, S.C. (Mexican Society of Standardization and Certification).
  • NYCE—Normalización y Certificación Electrónica (for electronic standardization and certification).
  • ONNCCE—Organismo de Normalización y Certificación de la Construcción y Edificación (the building and construction standardization and certification body).
  • U.L. de México—Underwriters Laboratories de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. (product certification body for electric and electronic equipment).
  • Intertek (product certification body for electric and electronic equipment).

Some of the standard requirements to consider when shipping from Mexico to the USA include:

  • Certificate of Origin.
  • T-MEC Certification of origin.
  • Authorized Export Number.
  • Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or MSDS-NON-DG.
  • T-MEC Statement.
  • HTS Codes for Mexico.
  • NOM-002-SCT/2011 English (2003) Spanish (2011).

Import Tariffs when Shipping from Mexico to the USA

The USA and Mexico have a trade agreement that protects goods from import tariffs.

These goods should meet rules of origin requirements under the U.S.- Mexico-Cana Agreement (USMCA.

Import tariffs that one should be aware of when shipping from Mexico to the USA include:

  • Antidumping duties.
  • Special Tax on production and services (IEPS).
  • Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariffs.
  • Custom Processing fee (CPF).
  • Value-added Tax (IVA).

How to Package Items before Shipping from Mexico to the USA

 Packaging before shipping

Packaging before shipping

Before packaging goods for shipment, it is essential to be conversant with the following guidelines for packaging:

  • The box used should be rigid and with all the flaps intact.
  • If the box you are using has labels, remove them to give room for new brands.
  • All items should be packaged separately.
  • For fragile material and to avoid scratches, use standard cushioning materials.
  • The tape used should meet shipping standards.
  • After wrapping the packages, avoid using string or paper.
  • The address label used should indicate the delivery and return information. It should be on a single title.
  • It is prudent to put a duplicate address inside the package just if the original one is destroyed.

A simple packaging process you can follow before shipping involves:

  • Labeling packages with bar codes for easy retrieval and tracking.
  • Wrapping up the packages and labeling them.
  • Releasing the packages based on the warehouse orders.
  • Announce the delivery to the warehouse through a delivery note. The delivery note usually contains information about the packages to arrive at the home warehouse.
  • Verify all the packages before dispatch.
  • Lastly, Compare the package to be delivered with the shipping documentation.

Before shipping, another essential consideration you should observe are the guidelines for pallet shipments, and they include:

  • You ensure that the pallets are of high quality and sturdy enough to support your packages’ weight.
  • Ensure that the stacking of pallets is up to standards and that the boxes used are sufficient.
  • Use stretch wrap to secure all the boxes.
  • Packages weighing over 68 kgs should be secure with steel or poly strapping on the pallet.
  • Ensure that the pallets are labeled accordingly and that the label is easily seen and ciphered.

Types of Containers to Use when Shipping from Mexico to the USA

Types of shipping container

Types of shipping container

There are many types of shipping containers that one can use for shipment.

The boxes vary depending on the mode of shipment and the type of goods being shipped.

Some of the types of container used include:

  • Dry storage container.
  • Cargo storage roll container.
  • Half-height containers.
  • Car carriers
  • Open side storage container.
  • Double doors container.
  • Open top container.
  • Tunnel container
  • Intermediate bulk shift containers.
  • Flat rack container.
  • Drums.
  • Refrigerated ISO container.
  • Insulated or thermal container.
  • Tanks.
  • Special purpose containers.
  • Swap bodies.

Prohibited and Restricted Items to Ship from Mexico to the USA

Some of the items which are prohibited from shipping from Mexico to the USA include:

  • Narcotics.
  • Predators of any size.
  • Live fish.
  • Used closed, which are not part of your luggage.
  • Images that show children in a ridiculous or disregarding way.
  • Electronic cigarettes.
  • Ammunitions and firearms.
  • Dangerous merchandise and wastes could result in ecological or environmental interferences.

How to Ship Dangerous Goods from Mexico to the USA

The USA positively regulates the transport of Hazardous Material (HAZMAT).

So, it is prudent for an exporter or importer to be aware of the various methods of dealing with such materials.

To transport dangerous or hazardous goods between the U.S. and Mexico, you need to provide the following information:

  • N. Number (Identification number).
  • Hazard class.
  • Shipping name.

Besides, if transporting dangerous goods via land transport from Mexico to the USA, you should have the following documents;

  • Bill of Lading.
  • Commercial Invoice.
  • Freight Invoice.
  • Inward Cargo Manifest.
  • Letter of Instruction for Handling.
  • Packing Slip.
  • Shipper’s Export Declaration.
  • Dangerous Goods Declaration Form.
  •  Pentimento Customs Entry Form.
  • Safety Data Sheet.

All the dangerous shipments to the USA should also have the necessary warning marks that include:

Dangerous good signs

Dangerous goods signs

  • Exploding bomb: for explosion or reactivity hazards.
  • Gas Cylinder: For gasses under pressure.
  • Health Hazard: May cause or suspected of causing severe health effects.
  • Flame: For fire hazards.
  • Corrosion: For corrosive damage to metals as well as skin, eyes.
  • Exclamation mark: May cause less severe health effects or damage the ozone layer.
  • Flame over the cycle: for oxidizing hazards.
  • Skull and crossbones: Can cause death or toxicity with short exposure to small amounts.
  • Environment: May cause damage to the aquatic environment.
  • Biohazardous infectious material: For organisms or toxins that can cause diseases in people or animals.

Incoterms to use when Shipping from Mexico to the USA

Incoterms will help you get business clarity as they define who is responsible for shipping and or insurance of goods at varying times during transit.

Some of the incoterms that you should use when shipping from Mexico to the USA include:

  • EXW: The incoterm in this category is EXW (Ex Works plus a named place).

In this term, the seller is not responsible for the costs, risks, and obligations.

The seller will not even be responsible for loading the goods into the truck you sent to pick up the goods.

  • Free on Board (FOB): FOB will allow you and the shipper to do what each of you knows best.
  • Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF): In CIF, the shipper assumes the risk and is the one who is responsible for purchasing insurance for the importation of your products.

CIF can only be used for sea transport.

  • Free Carrier (FCA): FCA is a very flexible term as it allows your goods to be delivered at your seller’s premises and various points located in the seller’s country.
  • Free Alongside Shipment (FAS): Free Alongside Shipment is an incoterm that you will mostly use when importing bulk cargo.
  • Free on Board (FOB): FOB is among the oldest incoterms, and it is majorly used with sea transport only.
  • Cost and Freight (CFR): In CFR, the shipper will not pay for your products’ insurance. You can only use this incoterm for only shipping by sea.
  • Carried Paid To (CPT): CPT is an incoterm that you can use for all transport modes.
  • Carriage and insurance paid to (CIP): CIP is similar to CPT, as you can use them for all modes of transport.
  • Delivered at Terminal (DAT): DAT suggests besides a transport terminal in your country, the place where your goods are delivered maybe your premises or a location nearby.
  • Delivered Duty Paid (DDP): In DDP, the shipper assumes the costs and risks of an operation. He also accepts import procedures and delivery of the goods at the agreed place in your country.
  • Delivered at Place (DAP): DAP is similar to DDP only that as the buyer, you will pay for all the above responsibilities.

Choose Freight Forwarder before Shipping from Mexico to the USA

Freight forwarder refers to a company that facilitates receiving goods and shipping them on behalf of other companies.

They majorly play an active role in ensuring the products gain approval from relevant authorities and schedule delivery with relevant agencies.

The various tasks overseen by freight forwarders include:

  • Tracking inland transportation of the goods.
  • Preparation of export and import documents required.
  • Consolidation of freight.
  • Filing insurance where required.
  • Negotiating freight charges.
  • Cargo insurance.
  • Booking of space for cargo.
  • Warehousing functions.

All these procedures are time-consuming and require a person who has the expertise, so a freight forwarder is essential to trade.

USA and Mexico have always been in a very healthy trade since time immemorial.

The rules which dictate shipment from Mexico to the USA are majorly retrieved from the NAFTA agreement.

Therefore, a freight forwarder will be very handy when planning to import from Mexico.

The USA government follows stringent rules and regulations before any good passes through their border.

Freight forwarders will ensure that every document required by the customs clearance is available and there are no shipment delays.

When shipping from Mexico to the USA, it is essential to work with freight forwarders because of the following reasons:

  • Freight forwarders will smoothen your goods passage through the series of processes and regulations required by USA customs clearance.
  • They will ensure efficient movement of the shipment from Mexico to the USA in the most effective method.
  • Due to their logistics process expertise, freight forwarders will contract the required transportation agencies on your behalf.
  • Freight forwarders will guarantee your cargo’s safety as they will ensure that it is insured from loss or damage because they supply insurance.
  • It would be best to use a freight forwarder to leverage their buying power to reduce transport costs.
  • The use of freight forwarders will also grant you the ability to focus on your business and not on the complex transport and customs procedures.
  • Perform freight shipping operation by picking the right mode of transportation and determining the itinerary.
  • Notarizes and certifies the invoices on behalf of the shipper.

Some of the tips on how to choose the right freight forwarder before shipping from Mexico to the USA include:

  • Ensure they are reputable.
  • Find a freight forwarder with the right experience.
  • They should have a good network for efficiency in the processes.
  • Pick a freight forwarder who possesses the right services for your shipments.
  • Choose a freight forwarder who has a transparent pricing structure.
  • Make sure that the freight forwarder offers insurance on cargo.

Role of Customs Broker when Shipping from Mexico to the USA

Custom brokers exist to ensure that the international shipping process is seamless by overseeing affairs in a very efficient manner.

Custom brokers are responsible for complying with required trade laws and regulations.

Some of the roles of a customs broker when shipping from Mexico to the USA include:

  • Conducting custom transactions: the custom broker must submit all the necessary documentation required by the U.S.

Some of the documents they prepare include:

i. Entry forms; include classification codes, country of origin, quantities, and weights.

ii. Paperwork for qualifying in trade programs like NAFTA.

iii. Information on licenses.

  • Represent you: you need to grant custom brokers a valid power of attorney to carry out customs business on your behalf.

They then review transactions and ascertain the validity of relevant laws and regulations on your behalf.

  • Payment of duties: custom brokers are the ones who make payments for responsibilities on your behalf and then bill you.

The obligations are always due within ten working days of entry, and the broker can pay from the account with the availability of an automated clearinghouse account.

  • Keeping records: A custom broker can support all the essential documents for at least five years.

All forms must be treated confidentially and should only be shared with you or customs in case of an audit or inspection at customs.

  • Staying up to date: The customs broker’s role is to have valid licenses and maintain a permit for all the districts they would like to conduct business with.

Using Pallets to Ship from Mexico to the USA

When shipping most shipping modes, in most cases, there will be a need to palletize it.

Before considering, how pallets should fit in your container, and it is essential to be aware of the different types of pallets available.

Pallets are available in many variations, depending on the type of merchandise and the industry that may need a given kind of pallet.

Some of the different pallet types available include:

Shipping pallets

Shipping pallets

  • Block pallet
  • Stringer pallet
  • Double face pallet
  • Solid deck pallet
  • Double wing pallet

Materials used to construct pallets are either wood, metal, plastic, or any other material.

Different companies across the world use varying sizes of pallets as there is no universal size standard.

The following is an overview of the most commonly used pallets when shipping from Mexico to the USA:

  • Pallets of dimensions in (W*L) 40*48, dimensions mm(w*L) 1016*1219, and production rank of 1 are used by industries like grocery and many others.
  • Pallets of dimensions in (W*L) 42*42, dimensions mm(w*L) 1067*1067, and production rank of 2 is used by telecommunications and paint industries.
  • Pallets of dimensions in (W*L) 48*48, dimensions mm(w*L) 1219*1219, and production rank of 3 are used by drums industries.
  • Pallets of dimensions in (W*L) 48*40, dimensions mm(w*L) 1219*1016, and production rank of 4 are used by military and cement industries.
  • Pallets of dimensions in (W*L) 40*42, dimensions mm(w*L) 1219*1067, and production rank of 5 are used by chemical and beverage industries.
  • Pallets of dimensions in (W*L) 40*40, dimensions mm(w*L) 1016*1016, and production rank of 6 are used by dairy industries.
  • Automotive industries use pallets of dimensions in (W*L) 48*45, dimensions mm(w*L) 1219*1143, and production rank of 7.
  • Pallets of dimensions in (W*L) 44*44, dimensions mm(w*L) 1118*1118, and production rank of 8 are used by drums and chemicals industries.
  • Beverage industries use pallets of dimensions in (W*L) 36*36, dimensions mm(w*L) 914*914, and production rank of 9.
  • Pallets of dimensions in (W*L) 48*36, dimensions mm(w*L) 1219*914, and production rank of 10 are used by beverage, shingles, and packaged industries.
  • Pallets of dimensions in (W*L) 35*45.5, dimensions mm(w*L) 889*1156, and whose production rank is unknown are used by military industries. These have 36-inch standard doors.
  • Pallets of dimensions in (W*L) 48*20, dimensions mm(w*L) 1219*508, and whose production rank is unknown are used by retail industries.

Some of the guidelines for pallet shipments to ensure safety and on-time arrival include:

  • It is essential to choose one well-built pallet that can support your shipment.
  • For sufficient strength, stack the pallets in columns and reinforce them using cartons or boxes.
  • Use a minimum 60-gauge stretch wrap to secure boxes to the pallets.
  • Use poly strapping or steel to secure products that weigh 68 kilograms (150 pounds) onto the pallets.
  • Ensure that each pallet is labeled with the accurate information of the delivery address.

Modes of Shipping from Mexico to the USA

There are different modes of transport used between Mexico and the U.S.

The method of transportation used depends on efficiency and cost.

Before picking a mode of shipping/ transport to use, it is prudent that you understand the various factors that affect shipping rates.

These factors include:

  • Weight of the shipment.
  • The density of the shipment.
  • Distance between the source and the destination of the shipment.
  • Freight classification.
  • Fuel cost for the shipment.
  • Tariff rates and negotiated rates for the shipment.

The most common modes of shipping between Mexico and the U.S. are:

Road Transport

 Road transport to from mexico to usa

 Road transport from Mexico to the USA

It is the most commonly used mode of transport between the two countries.

The road network between the two countries is ideal for road transport.

Advantages of using Road Transport.

  • Road transport is very economical over short distances.
  • If you want your shipment to move with speed, road transport is ideal.
  • You can also use road transport for far-flung areas and markets.
  • Road transport has fewer conditions attached compared to other modes of transportation.

Disadvantages of Road Transport:

  • Road transport tends to be uneconomical over long distances.
  • Road transport gets affected by adverse weather conditions.
  • Road transport is not very ideal for bulk carriers.

Maritime Transport/ Waterways

Importers from Mexico are increasingly choosing maritime transport over road transport to cut the increased costs, longer transits, and sharper delays involved with road transport.

Mexican ports such as the Port of Tampa have seen increased loads.

U.S. ports such as the Florida ports and Port of Miami have also seen increased freight from Mexico.

Advantages of Maritime/Waterway Transport.

  • It is a cheap means of transport due to the economies of scale.
  • Maritime transport is suitable for heavy and fragile products.
  • It is ideal due to the availability of loading and unloading facilities in ports.
  • It is a smooth mode of transport because of the minimal problems of congestion.

Disadvantages of using Maritime/Waterway Transport.

  • It is a prolonged mode of transport, even taking months before shipments are delivered.
  • It is unreliable because it is positively affected by weather patterns.
  • Maritime transport is confined to seas and ports.

Ocean freight

Figure 10

Recently, and especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, many airlines have opted to utilize their passenger planes as cargo planes. The result has been increased air transport.

Advantages of Air Transport:

  • Air transport is among the fastest means of transportation, especially for long-distance transport.
  • Air transport is ideal for the all-weather vehicle.
  • Consumer satisfaction is higher in air transport compared to the other modes of transportation.
  • Air transport tends to have reduced inventory holdings.

Disadvantages of Air Transport;

  • Though it is a fast means of transport, it is also one of the costlier transportation modes.
  • Air transport is limited to airports, and you will need to incorporate another mode of transportation, such as road transport, to complete shipment.
  • Airplanes also have a limited cargo capacity compared to other modes of transport.

Cargo Plane

Cargo plane

Rail Transportation

Until recently, the railway transport between the USA and Mexico had been dead.

The railway has been revamped, and there is increased freight between the USA and Mexico.

Advantages of using Railway Shipping Mode:

  • Railways have a large carrying capacity.
  • It is economical, especially in transporting a large number of shipments.
  • Railways work on all-weather modes.
  • Rail freight transport supports containerized shipments.
  • Railway networks cover large areas and also have links to the international market.

Disadvantages of using railway shipping mode:

  • Railway transport tends to be costlier over short distances.
  • It is a slow mode of transport.
  • Expect delays when shipping products using railway transport.

Intermodal Transportation (Multimodal)

Intermodal or multimodal mode of transport is the completion of shipments using multiple modes of transportation.


Pipelines are used to transport products such as crude oil and gas between Mexico and the USA.

Exports of natural gas to Mexico by pipeline are the largest component of the U.S. natural gas trade.

Natural gas trade between the two countries is expected to rise in the coming years.

Advantages of Pipeline Transport:

  • It is an economical mode of transport compared to railway and road transport.
  • Pipelines provide for uninterrupted service.
  • There is minimal danger of wastage when it comes to pipeline transport.
  • Pipeline save space because they can be dug underground.

Disadvantages of Pipeline Transportation

  • Pipelines require an initial heavy investment.
  • Heavy losses can occur in case of a breakage in the pipeline.
  • The pipeline transport network is challenging to maintain and monitor.

Some of the major players in the Mexico and USA transport industry include:

  • Averitt Express
  • BNSF Railway
  • G. Railway
  • Crowley
  • CSX Transportation
  • DB Schenker
  • Kansas City Southern
  • Livingstone International
  • Lynn
  • R+L Global
  • USA Truck
  • UTXL
  • Werner Enterprises
  • YRC Freight

How to Reduce Cost when Shipping from Mexico to the USA

Some of the way you can reduce costs when shipping from Mexico to the USA include:

  • First, you should pick the right exporter from Mexico by researching the different exporters in the market.
  • Leverage the geographical advantage that the U.S. has with Mexico. The shared border between the two countries helps in lowering transportation costs.
  • It is advantageous to order in bulk and get the most from the transportation costs.
  • Ensure that your products move fast to the market and minimize the idle time as low as possible.
  • For warehouse storage, FTZS or bonded warehouses are preferable in storing shipment on transit.
  • To cut shipping costs, it is essential to find a reliable customhouse broker. Custom house brokers are well versed in the shipping industry.

It is prudent to ensure that the custom-house broker you choose meets the following standards:

a) Have extensive experience in the business.

b) They offer warehouse services.

c) Have international networks.

d) Offer international services.

e) Offer comprehensive support.

How to Avoid Scam when Shipping from Mexico to the USA

While shipping from Mexico, you might encounter fraud or scams in your transactions or transportation process.

To avoid this, it is prudent to be aware of the following:

  • Do not give personal details financial or any document whatsoever through unsolicited electronic means.
  • Avoid clicking on any links that you do not know or you are uncertain about.
  • Educate yourself on phishing scams and how to avoid them.
  • Search the company that you want to ship with online and only start business with them after double-checking everything.
  • Determine the years of operation of the shipping companies and ask for possible referees.
  • Verify the agent’s details from the respective government agencies.
  • Ensure that the shipping company you are using is using the correct procedure in fees and money transfer.
  • Protect your computer by using security software.

Benefits of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

Some of the benefits of NAFTA include:

  • Quadrupled Trade: NAFTA has greatly improved trade between Mexico and the USA and enhanced economic growth and increased profits. It has dramatically created job opportunities and led to lower prices for consumers.
  • Due to the lower tariff rates brought about by NAFTA, there is a lesser risk of inflation and lower interest rates, thus resulting in reduced prices.
  • Increased economic growth: NAFTA boosted the economic development of Mexico and the USA, more so in agriculture, service, and automobile industries.
  • Creation of jobs: NAFTA exports have created very many job opportunities in both Mexico and the USA.
  • Increased foreign direct investment: since the initiation of NAFTA, foreign immediate investment growth has been rampant, which has led to more opportunities for market development.
  • Reduced government spending: NAFTA has reduced governments’ costs as it permits member countries to bid on all government contracts.

Best Time to Ship from Mexico to the USA

Like shipping internationally in any place, a few things may be different in Mexico and the USA.

It is an international requirement for your goods to pass through customs, and this might even take a few weeks.

  • You should make sure you consider Mexico’s national holidays that may take place in the period of shipment.
  • To find the best time to ship from Mexico o the USA, you need to determine the post estimated delivery time. This estimated delivery time refers to the total time required to ship your packages on the route, and it is an average number.
  • It is auto calculated using the system basing on data obtained for about six months. From this data, shippers can assess and select the courier service to provide efficiency and best shipping times.
  • The estimated time for product delivery might not be accurate and may differ from the actual time taken to deliver the products. It is essential to make your judgment by considering an exact condition.

How Drop Shipping from Mexico to USA Works

Dropshipping refers to a plan between a business and the distributor or manufacturer of a product in which products are shipped by the manufacturer or distributor.

In this model, the seller just creates an online store and outsourcers all the other logistics functions.

The seller will only handle customer support and product marketing—the online store purchases orders from third-party suppliers who then ship them to the buyer.

 Dropshipping model

Dropshipping model

Dropshipping between Mexico and the USA requires adherence to the following legal requirements:

  • You are protecting your intellectual property and registration of the official trademark.
  • Stringent compliance with laws of Anti-spam.
  • Efficient management of taxes. It is important to note that different states in the USA have varying taxes, depending on the business type.

When dropshipping from Mexico to the USA, there are some issues to be considered, which include:

  • There is still constant improvement being conducted on payment merchant facilities and credit cards.
  • You will require a USA Reseller permit as a USA based e-store seller.
  • Non-USA based drop shippers will not qualify for credit with US-based suppliers.
  • Always take note of the various tax issues in place for drop shipping businesses that are foreign-based.

Dropshipping from Mexico to the USA works in the following way:

  • First, you must find an online supplier who has the products which you would like to sell.
  • Show the products of the supplier with prices that are marked up on your website and advertise them.
  • You will then receive payment directly from customers that buy from your website.
  • Redirect the orders to your supplier and then pay them the original price. You should keep the profits to yourself.
  • After that, the supplier will ship goods to your clients directly.
  • To enjoy continuous earnings, repeat the process consistently and with a variety of the supplier’s products.

Some of the advantages of drop shipping include:

  • Low barriers and restrictions to enter the business.
  • Requires minimal startup investment.
  • No need for startup inventory.
  • So long as there is internet connectivity, it can operate from anywhere in the world.
  • Does not require handling warehousing issues and inventory.
  • Technical work is not required when setting up.

Some of the disadvantages of drop shipping include:

  • High competition.
  • No inventory control.
  • Dependency on the supplier is too much.

BanSar is a trusted freight forwarder in China who can help you will all your shipping needs.

In case you have any question or inquiry, BanSar offers free consultation services for all your shipping needs – contact us now.

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