After the supply chain disruptions the world has experienced over the last few years, a greater number of U.S.-based businesses are finding it more appealing to move manufacturing hubs closer to home to shorten and strengthen their supply chains. With nearshoring will come an increased need to transport goods across the border as efficiently as possible.
Freight movement at the border is heating up. Mexico remained the United States’ No. 1 trading partner in August and September, overtaking Canada. In step with growing trade, truck crossings in Laredo, Texas, also increased 11% in the first nine months of the year, compared to the same period in 2021.
While businesses clearly see the benefits of nearshoring, when it comes to actually moving those goods, customs policies and complying with two countries’ laws can be a thorn in the side for shippers. Noncompliance could result in fines and delays that can ultimately negatively impact business.
BBA Logistics, a cross-border 3PL, wants companies considering business opportunities in Mexico to know that the processes and paperwork aren’t as much of a roadblock as they may seem.
“With nearshoring becoming a more realistic option nowadays, do not let the logistics side of the operation scare you off,” Paul Portugal, of cross-border operations at BBA Logistics, said. “Sometimes, companies like to make it seem like it’s super hard to do customs procedures to import or export out of the country when in reality, it’s only so they can charge more for their services.”
One example of a new regulation that affects shippers and carriers moving goods in Mexico is the Complemento Carta Porte (CCP) — or a bill of lading supplement. The Mexican government enacted the CCP to ensure the legal transportation of goods within the country and reduce cargo theft.
In practice, to issue their CCPs, carriers must fill out a form on the Mexican Tax Administration Service, or Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT) platform about the shipment. The document requires extensive data about the shipment, including tax identification number of the shipper and receiver, driver information and routes, origin and destination, commodity type, size and weight, value and more.
Since the CCP was mandated in January, the SAT has not yet issued penalties for erroneous or missing information, but that’s changing at the start of 2023.
While the CCP has been criticized for the extra burden it puts on carriers, BBA Logistics advises companies considering trade across the border that navigating this and the cross-border process overall can be simplified with the help of experts with an open communication channel.
When CCP was first introduced, BBA Logistics quickly jumped into action to learn how to get compliant and then shared what it found with its supply chain partners.
Shippers have the information that carriers need to issue the CCP and get freight moving, so BBA Logistics created a streamlined process for information sharing. Through this, BBA receives the details necessary for the CCP within 30 minutes to one hour from the client after a shipping report is sent. This allows carriers to issue the CCP and get on the road without impacting shipping times.
BBA Logistics leverages its network of experts on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement to provide shippers with expert guidance for imports and exports between the U.S. and Mexico, resulting in about 15,000 successful cross-border shipments per year.
“We have a team that’s pretty much born in cross-border logistics, so we are very familiar with it. We know the border carriers, customs procedures and transfer processes. We do this business on an everyday basis, so smooth cross-border operations come naturally,” Portugal said.
Partnering with a logistics provider like BBA Logistics allows for efficient processes and gives shippers confidence to navigate new requirements when they arise.