UPS Supply Chain Solutions is offering an intermediate service option on the U.S. southern border as more manufacturers open plants in Mexico to serve the U.S. market.
UPS CrossBorder Connect, introduced in mid-April, bundles an expedited ground freight service and customs brokerage for shippers who want faster deliveries.
In the past, cross-border shippers could move heavyweight freight overnight through the UPS air freight network or move less urgent consignments via its standard less-than-truckload operation. Now there is a more economical alternative that can shave a day to 1.5 days off the traditional ground transit time, depending on the origin and destination.
By using UPS integrated truck network that supports UPS’ North American Air Freight service, including tandem drivers when necessary, and the UPS customs brokerage service, shippers can benefit from transit times of three or four days at 40 percent less cost than air freight, Steve Flowers, president of UPS Global Freight Forwarding, said.
The third key component to the premium service is UPS’ relationship with reliable Mexican truck carriers that can handle delivery of northbound goods all the way through customs to the U.S. side of the border. That’s an advantage over other providers that often contract with a Mexican carrier to deliver goods to an independent Mexican broker who then clears the goods on the Mexican side, uses a separate truck to shuttle the goods through the border zone, and hands the goods to a U.S. broker to manage the U.S. Customs process. UPS is able to expedite the movement of goods — one less handoff — by using its in-house brokerage capabilities to clear goods straight through.
Once the freight is at a UPS facility on the U.S. side it is moved by the same trucking network used by UPS to deliver air freight between airports and customers. Along the way, customers can use UPS technology to track their shipments.
UPS said the premium ground service is a response to the growing trend of U.S. and foreign manufacturers moving more production from Asia to Mexico to counter rising labor, transportation, logistics and currency costs.
“Our research clearly revealed the gaps in service options that exist for today’s customers,” Flowers said in a news release. “With this product, we’ve improved visibility and predictability as well as reliability on one of the largest and most important U.S. trade lanes.”
Automotive, electronics and healthcare manufacturers are among the industry sectors seeking a hybrid trucking service in Mexico, Flowers added.
Meanwhile, UPS announced May 7 that it has expanded UPS Express Freight service into Nicaragua and Honduras. The premium air freight service offers a day-definite guarantee, one-to-three-day door-to-door service with customs clearance to major metropolitan areas in 27 countries.
The United States is the top destination for exports from both countries. U.S. imports from Nicaragua, for example, have grown 21 percent per year for two decades. Honduras is the third largest exporter of automobile wiring harnesses to the United States. More than half the country’s imports come from the United States, according to UPS.
Here too, UPS officials credited near-shoring by manufacturers with helping grow trade between Central America and the United States.