Advantages And Challenges Of Shipping Cargo Through The Laredo Border

Main takeaways:

  1. The Laredo Border Crossing is the most popular inland border crossing in North America.
  2. You can optimize your supply chain costs by crossing the border through Laredo, because of its proximity to major cities in Mexico.
  3. Nearshoring is helping to increase the number of shipments between Mexico and the U.S.

When it comes to shipping cargo from the U.S. to Mexico, it is important to consider a border crossing point that can be convenient for your shipments, whether you are shipping cargo from the U.S. to Mexico or the other way around. There are currently 48 crossing points between the U.S. and Mexico, but the decision to choose the best crossing point will depend on multiple factors. These include the warehouse from which your cargo is leaving, your destination point in Mexico, the miles you have to travel, the road work along the routes, and so on. 

The Laredo Border Crossing is the most popular border crossing in North America for several reasons. Among them are its proximity to Mexico City and other major cities like Monterrey and Guadalajara, as well as its extensive infrastructure and services that make shipping cargo through this point smooth and fast. Actually, more than 1,000 trucks cross the border every day (north and southbound), with over $248.5 billion in total trade in 2021 according to the U.S. Census Bureau data analyzed by WorldCity.

Facts and numbers of the Laredo border crossing

There are many advantages for shippers in the U.S. and Mexico to the crossing and shipping of cargo across this entry point. For example, the World Trade Crossing (International Bridge 4) in Laredo, Texas, is the most important truck crossing on the United States/Mexican border. Texas border crossings account for most of the truck traffic, and the Laredo crossing alone represents over 60% of the truck traffic crossing the border between Texas and Mexico. Now with an investment of $10.3 million, 4 new inspection booths have been added, raising the total to 15, which will increase capacity by 36%

According to an review of the most recent U.S. government data, in December 2022, trade at Laredo climbed 14.40% compared to December of the previous year. On the other hand, total exports were up 14.99% compared to the same period, and when we look at the imports, we can see that they climbed by 14.06%.

Already, about $800 million worth of products as diverse as auto parts, clothing, and avocados pass through Laredo every day. The U.S. Department of Transportation predicted high increases in the number of trucks traveling through Laredo in 2019, with the number of southbound border crossings alone expected to reach 9,800 daily, by 2025.

By the end of 2021, four years earlier than expected, traffic had reached that level. 

So, if you are constantly shipping cargo through Laredo, you are not alone. There are hundreds of facts that make the Laredo Mexico-U.S. border crossing preferred by hundreds of Mexican and American companies. Here we highlight some of them.

Advantages of shipping cargo through the Laredo Border

Proximity: Laredo is located near several major Mexican cities, including Monterrey, Mexico City, and Guadalajara; making it an ideal location for businesses looking to reach these markets. Now, if you wish to cross into the U.S. from Mexico, the entry point is located just minutes away from major highways that connect Laredo with San Antonio, Austin, and Houston. This makes it easy to access other parts of Texas or other states like New Mexico or Arizona when you need to send goods farther south than Mexico City.

Learn more about the benefits of nearshoring to Mexico, here.

Well-developed infrastructure: Another advantage of the Laredo border is its infrastructure. The city has invested heavily in upgrading its port of entry facilities and roadways, making it easier for trucks and other vehicles to cross the border quickly and efficiently. The city also has a well-established system for processing cargo, which includes a streamlined process for customs clearance and security checks. One way to streamline your crossings and to ensure that the entire clearance customs process will be seamless is to rely on a reputable logistics partner, such as Nuvocargo.

Efficient Border Crossing: When it comes to optimizing times when shipping cargo from the U.S. to Mexico and vice versa, Laredo stands out as an attractive option. The Laredo border crossing is one of the busiest and most efficient in North America, allowing cargo to cross quickly and with minimal delay. Shipping cargo through Laredo can reduce lead times, allowing companies to get their products to market more quickly. The average crossing time might be around 2 hours and onwards, depending on days and seasons, according to CBP data. You can plan in advance by checking peak hours from the Laredo border by clicking here. This time will always depend on certain major causes, such as customs agent reviews, not having proper documentation at the moment of crossing your cargo, heavy traffic during peak hours, holidays, etc. Furthermore, you can download the official CBP border waiting times app to your device here.

Lower Transportation Costs: Shipping cargo through Laredo is often more cost-effective than other routes, due to lower transportation costs and the proximity of the border to major cities, both in Mexico and the U.S. 

Another advantage of shipping your cargo through this route is that it provides improved delivery reliability, as cargo can be easily monitored and tracked throughout the entire delivery process. To make your costs even more efficient and avoid incidents with your loads, you can leverage our cargo insurance service, available in the US and Mexico. 

Improved Supply Chain: Shipping cargo through the Laredo border helps companies improve their supply chain, as it allows for closer monitoring of production and delivery processes. Additionally, some American companies are choosing Nuevo Laredo as the place to establish its “maquiladoras” or factories because it has a well-developed infrastructure, including highways, railroads, and ports, which makes it easy for companies to transport goods in and out of the city. Also, they can have access to raw materials easily, since Mexico is home to a number of important natural resources, including oil, natural gas, and minerals, making it an ideal location for companies looking to access these raw materials. Shipping cargo through Laredo provides easy access to these resources.

Things to keep an eye out for when shipping cargo through Laredo 

More likely than not, you have experienced some challenges when crossing through Laredo. However, most can be easily mitigated with the support of a Logistics Partner like Nuvocargo, who can put all these pieces in one place to simplify your cross-border operations. 

Customs Delays: Due to increased security measures and heightened scrutiny of shipments, there can be delays at the border, which can cause delays in the delivery of goods. But don't worry, at Nuvocargo we have our own group of customs brokers, specialized in cargo crossings between the U.S. and Mexico through Laredo, that will work to make sure that your cargo crosses the border seamlessly.

Infrastructural Challenges: The infrastructure in Laredo can sometimes be inadequate for the high volume of cargo traffic, leading to congestion and increased shipping times. Working with an experienced logistics partner can help you plan ahead and proactively address unexpected occurrences. 

As you can see, there are more pros than cons of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border across Laredo, and the trend says it will only increase. Overall, crossing the border through Laredo can greatly streamline the shipment of cargo, from its strategic location to its modern infrastructure. At Nuvocargo we specialize in this crossing to provide our customers with the best cross-border solutions.

Are you looking to make your Laredo crossings more efficient? Then contact our experts.

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