Cross-border transportation to and from Mexico will increase in coming months as more manufacturing shifts from China back to North America, specifically to Mexico, says McCaffrey, vice president of sales. "We see this near-shoring trend play out more and more every day with manufacturers across all vertical markets. We feel there is a huge opportunity in Mexico."
XPO Logistics serves many businesses in Mexico, including major automotive and pharmaceutical companies. "XPO offers a wide range of solutions, including intermodal, expedited and air charter," says McCaffrey. Intermodal is certainly the most cost-effective solution, but clients working with a just-in-time model sometimes need expedited or air charter services, he says. "We offer all those options."
Crossing the border has gotten much smoother in recent years, "but making the process seamless still takes a lot of interaction with customs brokerage agents," says McCaffrey. "We have facilities on both sides of the border, which allows us to provide the necessary attention to detail." Most border crossings can now be accomplished in two hours or less, compared with 24 hours or more when McCaffrey first started in the business, he says.
Picking the right customs broker still is crucial, however. "We don't provide customs brokerage, but we work with our clients' customs brokers and we have seen good and bad. Don't just look at transaction costs, but look for knowledge about your particular vertical market and industry and for experience in effectively working with border agents," says McCaffrey.
"Having the right transportation partner in Mexico also is critical," he adds. "We vet our carrier partners based on relationships and capabilities. We choose partners that are C-TPAT certified and we look for partners that are equal to us in terms of technology. We particularly look for carriers that have a satellite feed we can integrate into our system."
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