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January 21, 2020
Mexico Cross Border Freight

Mexico to U.S. Trucking Companies: What to Look For

When you need to move freight across the border, finding the right Mexico to U.S. trucking company will help you achieve your goal. Choosing the right company is essential if you want your operation to go smoothly, and there are various things that you should be looking for when making your choice. Crossing the border from one country to another doesn't have to be difficult, but moving freight can sometimes be complicated. You need a trucking company that is capable of handling the cross-border trip and ensuring your freight safely reaches its destination. There are legal and logistical issues to consider when choosing a trucking company.

When choosing a Mexico to U.S. trucking company, it’s worthwhile to find one that offers valuable features that will ensure success. These features include bilingual services, participation in programs like CTPAT that reduce border crossing times, specific experience shipping your commodity, and more. Most shippers choose to work with an experienced 3PL that can provide all of these services and act as a single point of contact throughout the entire process.

In the article below, we take a look at all of the features that a high quality Mexico to U.S. trucking company should have. We examine each one in detail to help you make the best choice for your shipment.

Bilingual Support

Organizing the transport of goods across an international border will often mean dealing with logistics in two languages. A trucking company that can only provide support in either Spanish or English is likely not going to meet your needs. You need them to be able to speak to your representatives on either side of the border, making bilingual support one of the most important things to look for. Communication is at the center of any successful business transaction, and communicating in multiple languages can be a particular sticking point.

When everyone is able to communicate in their native language, or whichever language they speak best, there is less opportunity for confusion and misunderstandings. Bilingual support from Mexico to U.S. trucking companies can come in the form of phone support, email support or even modern options like online chat or a company app.

Bilingual support can also help to bridge cultural differences, and ensure that the legal and logistical issues on either side of the border are understood. It can break down uncomfortable barriers between people, and prevent a range of different problems occurring due to crossed wires. It's easier for companies to provide personal service when it's conducted in your preferred language, and you will avoid anything being unintentionally offensive, standoffish or rude. By choosing a company with bilingual support, you won't have language getting in the way of successful shipments.
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A Presence on Both Sides of the Border

A Presence on Both Sides of the BorderThe ideal situation when you need a Mexico to U.S. trucking company is to have a service provider that can work on both sides of the border. When you're comparing possible companies to work with, some will likely only operate in either Mexico or the U.S., but not both. This complicates things for crossing the border. It means that once your goods are in the U.S., you will need to find another trucking company who can take over the job for you. It's not an ideal situation, as you would probably spend more time and money than necessary switching your freight between the two companies.

However, there are companies who are registered in both Mexico and the U.S. that are able to transfer your freight within both countries. No matter where your freight starts off in Mexico or where it ends up in the U.S., they will be able to handle it for you. Some might even be registered in Canada too.

The benefits of choosing a trucking company with a presence on either side of the border include:

  • Smooth transfer of your freight using a single company
  • The ability to communicate easily, no matter which country you are in
  • The correct legal and logistical procedures followed in both countries
  • Keep track of your goods more easily by keeping them with the same company
  • Protect freight that needs to be handled with care by minimizing transfer between trucks

Look for Mexico to U.S. trucking companies that have a presence on both sides of the border if you want the transfer of your freight to be completed as smoothly as possible. Check that they are registered in both countries and that they have a business presence too, such as offices, warehouses or storage for their fleet.

Transparency and Visibility 

A trustworthy company is essential, no matter what type of service you are looking for. It's especially important when you're entrusting valuable goods to someone else. Transparency is important for any business and shipping and logistics is no exception. You should ensure transparency and visibility in Mexico to U.S. trucking companies before choosing your freight partner. When you can see that they are transparent and honest about what they do, you can ensure that they are following the law, that their services meet your needs, and that they offer a satisfactory service. There are various factors that you can check if you want to be sure of the visibility and trustworthiness of the companies that you're considering.

You can use a company's website and other information online to find out a lot about them. They might advertise their registration with official bodies or membership of respectable organizations. You can read about the services that they offer, and see if they are upfront about how they operate.

You can also find out a lot by taking into account the reputation that they have both online and offline. You should be able to find online reviews and testimonials that offer you evidence of previous customer experiences with the company. While you might begin with the testimonials on the company's website, these are often selected by the company and will likely show the best of what they have to offer. If you want to explore a mix of opinions, you can look on independent review sites. These will give you a more accurate and balanced picture of the company's reputation. There are also ways to find out more about a company offline, especially by speaking to others in your industry or who might have needed to use Mexico to U.S. trucking companies for any reason.

When it comes to shipping and logistics, physical visibility of freight also needs to be addressed. If being able to see where you freight is at all times is a priority, make sure the company you choose has that capability. Freight tracking is generally a standard feature across most trucking companies. However, some companies provide an additional layer of convenience with additional features such as notification updates throughout a shipment. Whatever type of tracking capabilities you need, be sure the company you choose can meet your needs.  

Competitive Pricing

Competitive PricingAny service should be affordable and within your budget. It should also deliver good value, giving you the quality service that you're looking for within a reasonable price range. Finding Mexico to U.S. trucking companies that offer competitive pricing should be one of your goals when you're looking for the right company.

There are various steps that you can take to find a trucking company with competitive pricing.

  1. Collect quotes from multiple companies so that you can compare them against each other and understand what your expectations should be.
  2. Use quote comparison websites to be able to compare prices from multiple companies side by side.
  3. Find ways to save, such as by having your freight shared with another customer's in the same truck or trucks.
  4. Confirm the services included with your rate quote. Some companies will provide a lower upfront rate and then tack on charges later on. Make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for. 
  5. Use a freight broker to gather rates for you. Freight brokers save a significant amount of time, and in many cases money as well. They do this by brokering rates and deals on behalf of shippers. 

When asking for quotes for Mexico to U.S. trucking companies, be sure to get quotes that are as accurate as possible. When you can provide details about the size of your freight and the distance it needs to travel, among other things, you will get a better idea of how much it will cost. It’s also worth noting that booking multiple shipments with the same provider will generally provide volume discounts. There’s no guarantee that all companies will do this, but it’s worth discussing. 
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Access to Resources That Speed Up Delivery and Reduce Delays

Crossing an international border can be time-consuming. Border inspections are a necessary part of controlling the border, but they can also slow everything down for those who want to move from one country into another. If you want to speed things up, some companies are able to reduce the number of inspections they are subject to and therefore reduce their border crossing times. This is possible through being a member of certain associations or having the right certifications.

One key example of this is the CTPAT (Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) certification. This certification is one of the ways that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection implement their cargo enforcement strategy. The CTPAT program is designed to strengthen international supply chains while improving border security. Trucking companies can join CTPAT to agree to work with CBP to protect the supply chain and improve security. When applying to join, companies need to present security profiles that show how they will secure their supply chain. CTPAT members are seen as being low risk, which means that there is less chance of them being inspected at the border to the U.S.

Mexico to U.S. trucking companies that have CTPAT membership enjoy benefits such as fewer CBP examinations, shorter waiting times at the border, and the ability to get to the front of the line for inspections too. Members are assigned a Supply Chain Security Management Specialist and are able to access Free And Secure Trade Lanes at land borders. Choosing a trucking company that has CTPAT certification or is a member of other programs that offer similar advantages and protections is smart. They pass on the benefits of certification to you, allowing you to receive your freight quicker and ensure the security of your goods at the same time.

Additional Services

Transportation often isn't the only service that is required when shipping across borders. Other services can be useful too, from warehousing to the assembly of products. As you require these services, it makes a lot of sense to choose a company that offers all of the services that you need. With a single point of contact, it's much easier to manage everything. It makes even more sense to do this when carrying out cross-border shipping between Mexico and the U.S. because the international nature of it complicates things further. The best thing to do is to work with a 3PL (third-party logistics) provider so that you can secure all of the necessary services.

A 3PL company is able to provide their customers with a more comprehensive offering. They can offer warehousing, customs brokerage, reverse logistics, kitting and assembly, and other additional services that you might require. Using these services, you will be able to store your goods, transport them smoothly, and even ensure your products are put together before they are shipped out. This will ensure a seamless process for moving goods from Mexico into the U.S. and across the country.

When choosing Mexico to U.S. trucking companies, take a look at the other services that they offer. Start by defining the services that you require so that you can check your list against the services they offer. You can save time and money by choosing a 3PL company to provide your trucking services. Everything can be done using the same point of contact from start to finish in addition to possibly unlocking some discounted rates.
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Experience Handling the Commodity That You’re Shipping

Experience Handling the Commodity That You’re ShippingNot all commodities are equal when it comes to shipping and logistics, and this goes double for when you're crossing international borders. There are some dangerous goods that might have certain restrictions in terms of size and amounts, while others might not be permitted for shipping. Some of the restricted items named by U.S. Customs and Border Protection include alcoholic beverages, biological specimens, fruits and vegetables, medication, and more. It's important for you to understand the regulations, but it's arguably more important for the shipping provider that you work with to know what they're doing.

You should do the following if you want to find a carrier that has experience with shipping a specific commodity, especially if it is one with restrictions.

  • Check to see if there are any restrictions or special requirements for the goods that you want to ship.
  • Search for Mexico to U.S. trucking companies that advertise their experience with your commodity.
  • Learn about the steps that they take to make it easier for you to complete the transportation process.
  • Ask the companies that you speak to how often they ship the commodity.

You want to make the process of transporting goods from Mexico into the U.S. as easy as possible. By choosing a company that has experience with the commodity that you want to ship, you can save time and overcome many of the hurdles relating to restrictions and paperwork.

Some commodities take special know how. For example, are you shipping heavy equipment? Learn more about shipping heavy equipment to Mexico from the U.S. 

Stellar Communication

Stellar CommunicationCommunication is a key point to consider when you're choosing the right trucking company. The company that you select should be able to meet your communication needs, whatever they are. You might be looking for frequent communication and be willing to pay for the privilege of having regular contact with the trucking company. On the other hand, you might be happy with a lower level of communication if it will save you money. Whether you want a high level of communication or you don't require it to be as frequent, you need to find a trucking company that meets your needs.

First, you might want to look at the different ways that a company will communicate with you, and how often they will update you on their progress. There are various ways that you might receive updates and communicate with the company. They could include phone, email or using the company's own software, app or dashboard. Some companies might offer options such as text message updates or live chat. If you have preferences for how you want to communicate with the company, you should look for a provider that offers your preferred method.

You should also check that you will receive the level of communication that you desire. Although a company might promise a certain level of communication, you need to ensure that you will receive what you're promised. Reading reviews is a good way to find out if you're going to get the communication that you require, in addition to speaking to other customers directly if you know any. The communication that you experience during the quoting process is typically an accurate representation of the communication you’ll receive during the shipping process. 

Need Help Shipping To and From Mexico?

If you’re looking for a company that checks all of the boxes, look no further than R+L Global Logistics. Our company is CTPAT certified, offers bilingual support, and much more. We have dedicated staff that’s fully equipped to handle all of your Mexico-U.S. freight shipping needs. So, whether you’re sending a one-time truckload or multiple daily loads that require warehousing and more, we’ve got you covered.

We will assist with everything that your cross-border shipping requires. Choose us when you're looking for Mexico to U.S. trucking companies and you can save time and money. 

If you want to learn more about how we can serve you or you’re ready to get a quote, give us a call at (866) 335-0495. We’re standing by and ready to help you.
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