Your Guide for Freight Shipping to Mexico

If you’re new to shipping freight from the USA to Mexico or vice versa, here’s what you need to know.

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The US is a major exporter to Mexico. In fact, it’s the second-largest market for the country. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that went into effect in the mid-90s has led to an increase in cross-border shipping between the US and Mexico. By gaining a clear understanding of how goods are transported across the border, you can save money, experience quicker border crossing, and reach more customers. Read on to take the mystery out of freight shipping to and from the USA and Mexico.

Required Documents for Shipping to Mexico

When you ship internationally, there are certain documents you must include and fill out correctly. These documents include:

  • Commercial Invoice: This document is supplied by the broker, but it’s the shipper who fills out the invoice number and date, unit prices, part numbers, references, and product descriptions.
  • Bill of Lading (BOL): Also provided to you by the broker, a BOL is given to the carrier. Transferred at the time of pickup, it should include the product name, weights, quantities, and any special instructions for shipping. This is information primarily for the carrier whereas the commercial invoice is for the receiver.
  • Packing List: This list includes exporter information, such as dates, number of boxes, cubic dimensions, and whether there are hazardous materials in the shipment. Like the Bill of Lading, the packing list will also list the gross and net weights of the shipment.
  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Certificate of Origin: This certificate must be filled out for Customs. It will include standard importer/exporter data as well as the tax and tariff agreements for the shipment.
  • Shipper’s Export Declaration: Any shipment with a declared value of $2,500 or more will need to fill out this form to successfully transport the freight.

4 Types of UPS® International Freight Shipping

There are four key types of freight shipping to and from Mexico with UPS:

  • UPS Air Freight Premium Direct: Takes between 1 and 3 business days to deliver products to door by end of the day.
  • UPS Air Freight Direct®: Takes between 1 and 3 business days to deliver products to the airport by end of the day.
  • UPS Air Freight Consolidated®: Takes between 3 and 5 business days to deliver products to the airport by end of the day.
  • UPS Freight® LTL: Delivery options vary based on destination and origin.

Prohibited Items when Freight Shipping to Mexico

There are universal items that are prohibited by UPS, but in addition to those, you cannot ship the following items from the US to Mexico:

  • Alcohol
  • Animal Products
  • Cigarettes/tobacco/vaping products
  • Drugs (illegal and restrictions on prescription)
  • Meat
  • Military equipment
  • Negotiable bonds and drafts
  • Used clothing
  • Toxic/dangerous materials

There are some exceptions as long as the sender has received proper permits, but in general, UPS will not accept the above items.

Talk to a Logistics Expert for Cross-Border Shipping Between the US and Mexico

If you’re looking for a freight forwarder to Mexico, Unishippers is a preferred partner of 65+ national, regional, and local shipping carriers that can help your small business find the best international freight shipping solutions. We partner with top carriers to help cross-border supplies get there as safely and efficiently as possible. Get a free international freight shipping quote today!

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