Which service to choose when trucking to and from Mexico?

When it comes to moving your goods across the border from the United States into Mexico, not everything is as simple as it may look. There are many companies specialized in international logistics solutions between both countries but, not all of them have the expertise and the network to ensure that your merchandise will arrive safely at its destination.

The challenges are multiple; the most common is endless delays that can represent several thousand dollars loss to your supply chain. Mexico trucking requires experience and trusted partners.

Learn more about the two different methods commonly used when trucking to Mexico.


The 2 methods of shipping freight across the border with Mexico.

If you’re planning to send goods to or from Mexico, you need to know that there are two ways of doing it. The first method is by cargo transloading and the second one is by using a trailer.

Both methods will safely cross your product from Mexico into the United States, but several factors come into the game when choosing which method suits you best.


What is transloading?

Transloading is by definition, the act of “transferring” the “load” between multiple forms of transportation. Let’s imagine that you are in a position to send freight from Mexico to the United States. In such a case, a carrier in Mexico would collect the merchandise to transport it to the border with the United States. Then a “cross-border carrier” will move it to a facility on the US side. Finally, an American carrier will take care of moving the freight to its final destination.

It is a process in 4 stages:

1. The Mexican driver picks up the cargo and takes it to a safe yard .

2. The cross-border tow carrier crosses the freight to a transloading warehouse.

3. The transloading warehouse transfers the product to an American carrier.

4. The American carrier delivers the cargo to its final destination.

The other way around, the process will be the same if you want to export from the United States to Mexico.


What are direct trailer benefits?

The direct trailer is when the material is loaded on a trailer and remains on the same trailer until through the border and final delivery at destination. In this case, it might seem like time and effort are being saved, not to mention that if you are transporting fragile items, they will have less risk of breaking or being damaged. However, the reality is that due to government regulations, both methods may require the seal to be broken to allow customs inspections.

The direct trailer process can be summarized in 3 steps:

1. The Mexican driver – with an exchange agreement with a US partner – picks up the freight and takes it to a safe yard.

2. The cross-border towed driver crosses the freight into the yard of the United States partner.

3. The American carrier delivers the cargo to its final destination


What are the benefits of each transportation method?

Both methods achieve the same result to the extent that you can ship your products from one country to another. Both require goods to be stopped on one side of the border, then moved by a third party across the border, and then picked up on the other side.

When is it better to choose one method rather than the other?

Well, here are some of the benefits to consider for each of the methods.


Transloading benefits

Having more freight capacity on both sides means more carriers and potentially more efficient options. With the transloading service, you can get suppliers whose networks synchronize with yours, giving you more profitable rates.

The main highlights of transloading transportation can be summarized in:

  • Having a greater variety of carriers to choose from
  • Avoiding delays
  • Reduced shipping costs because of the competition


Direct Trailers benefits:

You don’t have as much flexibility in terms of the carriers however, you have the potential for reducing your shipping costs by finding reliable partners for regular shipments that are offered at a cost-effective rate. A direct trailer is an excellent option when shipping heavy materials or fragile items.

  • Avoid material handling and reduce the risk of damage
  • Ideal for heavy machinery, equipment, or materials


Let’s talk about your cross-border and international supply chain needs

Every customer’s international supply chain is different, with unique challenges and needs – what is ideal for one customer may not be the best option for another.