Cross Border Freight Companies: What to Look For
You’ve got a factory or warehouse full of product and need to get it from the United States into Mexico. But you’re not sure what to look for when it comes to cross border freight companies. This crucial decision can affect your profitability and it’s important to pinpoint your exact needs.
When shipping freight between the U.S. and Mexico, knowing what to look for in cross border freight companies is extremely important. The process with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can go smoothly or be hectic. Choosing the right freight company will ensure that your cross border freight experience will be hassle-free and efficient.
Work with C-TPAT Certified Providers
The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) is one layer of the CBP’s cargo enforcement strategy, enacted to keep U.S. borders more secure. Working with or becoming a C-TPAT member is a smart first step in further helping your freight gets where it needs to go and employs minimum security criteria for the shipper and the border.
The C-TPAT is a completely voluntary security program that is free to join and the application process takes place online. Some major perks include fewer freight inspections and better protection of your supply chain but a more comprehensive list includes:
- Reduced number of CBP examinations
- Front of the line inspections
- Possible exemption from Stratified Exams
- Shorter wait times at the border
- Assignment of a Supply Chain Security Specialist to the company
- Access to the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) Lanes at the land borders
- Access to the CTPAT web-based Portal system and a library of training materials
- Possibility of enjoying extra benefits by being recognized as a trusted trade Partner by foreign Customs administrations that have signed Mutual Recognition with the United States
- Eligibility for other U.S. Government pilot programs, such as the Food and Drug Administration’s Secure Supply Chain program
- Business resumption priority following a natural disaster or terrorist attack
- Importer eligibility to take part in the Importer Self-Assessment Program (ISA)
- Priority consideration at CBP’s industry-focused Centers of Excellence and Expertise
Once a member of C-TPAT, the aforementioned FAST Lanes will allow for expedited processing for commercial carriers who are subject to background checks and must fulfil certain eligibility requirements. The majority of lanes are available at the U.S.-Mexico border from California to Texas and are another resource for saving time for shipments that are considered low risk.
Be Clear About the Services You’ll Need
The service level you receive in shipping could depend on what services you need. It’s imperative that you provide great detail in the exact services you need. Plans can change at any time but adjust your expectations. If you forget to mention that your shipment needs to be handled with extreme care during the initial consultation, don’t be surprised if the price changes.
Also, make sure not to have the shipping hung up on your end. Any shipment you need moved will require import and export documents to be filled out completely before a shipping company takes the freight. This will ensure there are no delays during the process. These are:
- Bill of Lading
- Detail Packing List
- Commercial Invoice
- Certificate of Origin
- NAFTA Certificate of Origin (if applicable)
With some pre-planning and orderly work at the beginning, both the client and the shipper can set themselves up for a successful shipment.
Verify the Cost of Your Shipment
It happens in everyday life: you don’t feel you got exactly what you paid for in one way or another. While no one likes that feeling in any regard, it should never happen when your valuable goods are transported.
Most logistics providers will be able to offer a custom price quote based on your individual needs. While that is extremely helpful, it is up to you to provide as much detail as possible about your needs so there is no miscommunication that could end up as additional charges on the back end.
Instead of simply saying, “I need white glove treatment,” tell the provider what you’re shipping, the quantity, where it is being shipped to and from, and anything else unique about the shipment — basically any detail that is even possibly relevant. Reputable logistics providers will gladly give you a free quote to look over, which will let you double-check for any discrepancies of what was initially discussed.
Don’t be afraid to ask the same question again if you’re unclear about any aspect of the shipment. The logistics provider values you as a customer and wants your experience to be positive.
Consider a Logistics Provider
A logistics provider can provide true door-to-door transportation management and comes with several useful tools to help cargo moving seamlessly in a cost-effective manner:
- Shipment planning
- Timely exchange of shipping documentation, information and customs compliance requirements
- Border crossing operations
- Issue resolution
Also, some logistics providers are bilingual and are capable of notifying customers during the various stages of delivery via a tracking number. An excellent logistics provider will offer all of that, plus unparalleled customer service. Often, there are other value-added services a complete logistics provider can offer such as:
- Transloading and warehouse facilities at major gateways
- Multilingual customer service support
- Single point of contact
- Customs Broker referrals
- Border drayage
- Mexico cargo insurance
- Single freight bill for all freight charges
Manage Your Cross Border Freight Companies with R+L Global Logistics
Now that the steps have been laid out on what to look for in a cross border freight company, consider using R+L Global Logistics for all of your shipping needs. R+L Global Logistics can offer door-to-door service, help you with maquiladora tax benefits and help your freight at every step of the way. No mather whether you seeking El Paso cross border shiping or seeking to cross the border in Tecate, R+L Global Logistics has the services you need.
With 99.5% of our shipments on time and the ability to track your shipment at various stages of the process, R+L Global Logistics can offer you the solution you’re looking for. Call today for a free quote.
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