International Shipping Rates to Mexico from US
International Shipping Rates to Mexico from US is our specialty.. Cross-border shipping to Mexico can be challenging for first timers and repeat shippers alike. With factors such as capacity imbalance congestion, political administration changes and new regulations, shipping can be hectic.
But it doesn’t have to be complicated, exhausting and expensive – that is if you have the right logistics partner. You can have your shipment delivered within days in perfect condition. But what will it really cost you to have a delivery made on time?
International Shipping Rates and Options
Freight shipping services are available for all manner of approved items. Some of the options available to you include the following.
|Shipping Option||Suitable for|
|FCL – Full Container Load||Cargo that fills a 20ft, 40ft or 45 ft container|
|LCL – Less than Full Container Load||Large cargo that doesn’t fill a container, shared space|
|RORO – Roll On, Roll Off||Automobiles, motorized machines and equipment|
|Reefers – Refrigerated Containers||Temperature sensitive cargo|
|Break Bulk Cargo||Cargo that may not fit into a regular shipping container due to its large size or weight|
|Dry Bulk Cargo||Moisture sensitive cargo|
|Airfreight||Small and/or urgent cargo, eCommerce|
FCL shipping can be used to ship large items such as furniture, cars, machinery, supplier or raw
materials for the business; the list is endless. This option simplifies the shipping process and
reduces risk since the entire container is owned by one party. The rate is mostly per container regardless of weight.
LCL is an affordable option when your cargo cannot fill up the shipping container. This option allows multiple parties to consolidate their cargo to fill up the container. The cargo can be crated, boxed or palletized. The rate per kg/lbs tend to be higher than that of FCL.
RoRo can be used to ship machines that simply roll into the ship, are secured and roll off once the ship gets to its destination. It is a good option for vehicles, boats, construction vehicles, heavy wheeled machinery. This shipping option doesn’t require special packaging
Reefer shipping is best for items that need a temperature-controlled environment while on transit. This could be foodstuff, artwork, pharmaceutical supplies, and electronic components among others.
Break bulk shipment is mostly used for heavy machinery or equipment that cannot ordinarily fit into the regular containers due to their sheer size or weight. Such items include rolling stock, heavy machinery, and large equipment. It may also include infrastructure supplies such as building blocks as they are too heavy.
Dry bulk shipping is best used for large cargo that need to be kept dry while on transit. This option is best for homogenous items that can be poured or dropped into a bulk carrier hold. Such may include foodstuff such as grains and sugar, biomass, coal, metal etc.
Other Factors Influencing the Cost of Shipping Goods to Mexico from US
The items you are shipping largely dictates the shipping option you go with. In addition to the base rates offered by your preferred shipping option, there are other considerations that affect the cost of moving items to Mexico from US.
Shipping To Mexico; Customs Requirements. International Shipping Rates to Mexico from US
If you are shipping to Mexico from US for the first time, or are not yet familiar with the regulations yet, it is advisable to get a reputable and licensed Mexican Customs Broker and United States Customs Broker.
These brokers are essential even if you are shipping household or private property and not necessarily business items. The brokers will inform you of the deminis rules for private and commercial shipment. In most cases. You can get one broker who is licensed to carry out operations in both countries.
Licensed brokers ensure that your items are compliant to the set regulations and all the documents are available for inspection. This ensures that the movement is fast; your items will not be stuck at the port awaiting clearance and incurring unnecessary storage fees.
Some of the essential customs documents that you need to have include the following:
- Import/export declaration form for items whose value exceeds USD 2500
- Commercial and proforma invoice (Spanish) detailing all the relevant information about the goods being shipped for tax and duty purposes
- Bill of Lading details the owner of the goods and the exact delivery point
- NAFTA Certificate of origin from US sender for preferential treatment of goods allowed under the agreement
- Airway bill for airfreight goods
- Packing list that details everything in the container for domestic shipment
- SLI – Shipper’s Letter of Instructions with consignee details and description of goods being shipped
- AES – Automated Export System Filling for goods with items valued over USD 2500
Other documents that prove that the goods are compliant with Mexican Safety and Performance regulations as well as tax compliant such documents include Material Safety Data Sheet, Letter of Instructions, Freight Invoice, Packing Slip, Inward Cargo Manifest among others.
Mexican Import Duty: Tariffs, Taxes and Fees
International shipping attracts import requirements that domestic product doesn’t. If you are thinking of shipping to Mexico for the first time, here are the most basic tax terms that you might encounter.
- DTA – derecho de tramite aduanero, which means a customs processing fee set at a general 0.008% of the value of the goods as declared in the forms. Some goods under international trade agreements have differing DTAs
- IVA which is Mexico’s value added tax, generally set at 16% but changes according to product. Some products such as selected food items and medicine are not subject to VAT. Check out the Mexico customs website for more information.
- IEPS is additional taxes levied on specific products such as fuel/gasoline, alcoholic beverages, cigars and cigarettes, soda and high calorie foods. This special tax can be anything between 25 and 160%
- ISAN which is tax levied on new motorized vehicles. Electronic vehicles are ISAN-exempt
- DDP, Delivery Duty Paid, is a term that denotes that the seller has covered all the import duty and taxes on the goods
- DDU, Delivery Duty Unpaid, is a term that lets the authorities know that the recipient of the goods will be responsible for the import dutiesCheck out this Mexico imports duty calculator to familiarize yourself with some of the details that are needed to determine the duties payable.If your shipment meets the NAFTA requirements for rules of origin, they’ll not be subject to tariffs. There are, however, caveats and exceptions to these statements. If you are dealing with NAFTA goods, you can go through this shipping guide for more information.
Note that the USMCA can change some rules of origin when it comes to products moving from US and Mexico. These changes can affect the final international shipping and customs rate.
Last Mile Delivery Rates. International Shipping Rates to Mexico from US
While the shipping process is easy with a reliable shipping partner, door to door delivery may not always be bliss. Especially if your shipping partner is not the same company that will handle your last mile delivery.
Door to door delivery in Mexico can be a bit challenging, especially for rural home addresses whose streets names are not very clear. Even with clear street names and home addresses, the packages may be susceptible to theft after delivery. The major challenge with deliveries to P.O. Box addresses is loss or misplacement of delivery receipts.
You will therefore incur an extra charge if you want to get a third-party service provider to guarantee the safety of the items until they get to the intended recipient. You can discuss this option with your service provider. If you choose your last mile delivery partner to be Mexican Post, you may need to pay up to USD 300 for goods whose worth doesn’t exceed USD 1,000.
Insurance For Goods Moving from US To Mexico
Any cargo that moves from the US to Mexico is considered international freight. It is, therefore, governed by international laws of commerce. As such, carriers and shippers have limited cargo liability.
NOTE THAT American insurance is not valid in Mexico. Additionally, it is ILLEGAL to get an insurance firm outside Mexico to insure goods that are in Mexican territory. You need your Mexican Customs Broker to get you insurance that is valid in Mexico
Most shipping rates are usually inclusive of about USD 200 of insurance against damage or loss. If your items are more valuable than a couple of hundred dollars, you can get additional insurance. Be sure to read the terms of the policy to ensure that the items are covered until they are received by the intended party.
General Rate Increase. International Shipping Rates to Mexico from US
Commonly referred to as GRI, this is the ocean freight price adjustments made by shipping lines. This price changes are part of the seasonal cycle charges where shipping lines charge extra to recover from low market season.
GRI is usually applied only once a year. However, due to other circumstances, it can be applied several times annually. The increase affects ocean freight rates. If your shipment is not booked before the GRI sets in, you will be charged extra, sometimes even double what you’d have paid before GRI. Your USCB and MCB can help expedite the process for you to avoid such unnecessary extra charges.
Shipping Seasons. International Shipping Rates to Mexico from US
Like any other industry, shipping has its high season and low season. The high season is when the demand for freight services is at its peak. It affects global supply chain, vessel capacities, and freight charges.
The high season is from July to around December as companies work towards shipping holiday season merchandise. As is with other industries, high season means high freight rates in response to the demand. High season is also characteristic of congestions, especially around festive seasons. It means that the clearance process may also take longer, and you might need to pay more for storage as the days roll by on your uncleared items.
The seasons can also give rise to other challenges that may affect the shipping rates. These are
- Emergency Bunker Surcharge which is a sudden cost slapped in response to fuel price fluctuations
- Bunker Adjustment Factor is a predicted adjustment to cover the costs of fuel in natural market movements
- Demurrage and detention costs especially with delays in customs inspection and clearance. Most of these extra charges are beyond the shipper’s control. While there are certain things that the shipper can do to mitigate or avoid these charges, there isn’t much they can do once the charges kick in. It is, therefore, important to plan your shipment well and in advance to avoid running into multiple extra charges. It is also advisable to properly prepare your goods and have all the necessary documents at hand at all times.
Trucking Shortages. International Shipping Rates to Mexico from US
If you have been shipping from US to Mexico, you probably have noticed the difference in trucking availability ever since the implementation of the ELD mandate in 2021. When trucking shortages occur in the US side, Mexico side or both, ocean freight charges go up in response to the market.
You will probably need to pay a lot more to secure a truck, especially if you do not want to face any disruption in your supplies. You might also be forced to reroute the truck to a different port if congestion arises in your preferred port.
When contacting an international shipping partner, it is important to engage one who can make contingency plans for you to avoid costly shipments. Your shipping partner should be familiar with trucking services in Mexico and US, and the alternative ports in both countries for easier and faster delivery.
Main Shipping Ports in USA
There are close to 100 ports in the US. Some states have more than one port. Here are the most commonly used shipping ports per state:
- Louisiana – Port of South Louisiana, Port of New Orleans, Port of Greater Baton Rouge, Port Fourchon, Port of Terrebonne
- Texas – Port of Houston, Port of Beaumont, Port of Corpus Christi, Port of Texas City, Port Arthur, Port Freeport, Port of Galveston, Lavaca point comfort, Port of Brownsville, Port of Victoria
- New York – Port of New York, Port of Albany Rensselaer
- New Jersey – Port of Newark, Port of Paulsboro, Camden Gloucester
- California – Port of Long Beach, Port of LA, Port of Lake Charles, Port of Richmond, Port of Oakland, Ports of Stockton
- Virginia – Port of Hampton Roads
- Alabama – Port of Mobile
- West Virginia – Port of Huntington Tri-State
- Maryland – Port of Baltimore,
- Minnesota/Wisconsin – Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior
- Missouri – Port of St Louis, Caruthersville
- Illinois – Port of East St Louis, Port of Chicago, Kaskaskia,
- Pennsylvania – Port of Pittsburgh, Port of Philadelphia, Marcus Hook
- Mississippi – Pascagoula, Greenville
- Florida – Port of Tampa Bay, Port of Everglades, Port of Jacksonville, Port of Miami, Port Canaveral, Port Manatee
- Georgia – Port of Savanna, Brunswick
- Alaska – Valdez, Nikiski, Port of Anchorage
- Oregon – Port of Portland
- Washington – Port of Tacoma, Port of Seattle, Port of Longview, Anacortes, Kalama, Port of Vancouver USA
- North Carolina – Wilmington, Morehead City,
- South Carolina – Port of Charleston
- Massachusetts – Port of Boston
- Minnesota – Two Harbors, Silver Bay, Saint Paul
- Hawaii – Port of Honolulu, Barbers Point, Kahului
- Tennessee – Port of Memphis, Nashville
- Michigan – Port of Detroit, Presque Isle, St Clair, Stone port, Port of Calcite, Port Inland, Escanaba, Port Dolomite,
- Indiana – Burns Harbor, Buffington Harbor, Waterway Harbor, Mt Vernon
- Ohio – Cincinnati, Port of Cleveland, Port of Toledo, Astabula, Conneaut, Marblehead, Sandusky
- Puerto Rico – Port of San Juan
- Connecticut – New Haven Harbor
- Delaware – New castle, Port of Wilmington
- Kentucky – Louisville
- Wisconsin – Port of Milwaukee
- Oklahoma – Tulsa Port of Catoosa
- New Hampshire – Portsmouth
Main Shipping Ports in Mexico
Mexico has a number of shipping ports. Here are the main ones that are functional today.
- Tamaulipas – Altamira, Puerto de Tampico
- Yucatan – Rio Largartos, Progreso, Celestun, Sisal, Dzilam De Bravo, Las Coloradas,
- Veracruz – Alvarado, Tamiahua, Barra de Tuxpan, Tecolutia, Anton Lizardo, Verazruz, Coatzacoalcos
- Quintana Roo – Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, Chetumal, Cancun
- Tabasco – Sánchez Magallanes, Puerto dos Bocas, Barra Chiltepec, La Barra,
- Campeche – Ciudad del Carmen, Isla Aguada, Champoton Aampeche
- Colima – Manzanillo
- Sinaloa – Mazatlan, Topolobampo
- Jalisco – Puerto Jalisco
- Sonora – Guaymas
- Michoacan – Port of Lazaro Cadenas,
- Baja California – Port of Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Salina, La Paz
Popular Cities in Mexico
Mexico is a beautiful country. You can check out some of the most popular cities in the country below. You might find them a great market especially for your ecommerce goods.
- Mexico City
- Puerto Vallarta
- San Miguel de Allende
- Playa del Carmen
- San Jose del Cabo
- San Cristobal de las CasasYou can tour the cities that are nearest to your preferred delivery points especially for bulky cargo. This will inform you of the prevailing challenges and how to mitigate them for efficient delivery.
Cost of Moving Household Goods to Mexico
There is a special procedure for moving personal items to Mexico as these are tax exempt under the Menaje de Casa regulation . The personal items under this exemption, however, are subject to strict limitations. The restriction specified the maximum value of the items, above which the shipment will be subject to import duty and sales taxes.
You’ll need to follow a strict application process and adhere to the set timelines if you want to benefit from this import duty exemption.
You must present the required documents, which include a detailed inventory of the items being shipped. The items must be numbered and all the relevant information including serial numbers and models detailed clearly.
Mexico allows some household items to be grouped together in the numbering process. Be sure to contact your shipping partner for a list of items that are allowed and those that aren’t to avoid making mistakes that can end up costing you.
Menaje de Casa application fee is USD 150 or its local equivalent. Your shipping partner may have additional charges for you if they’ll help you prepare the application documents. Once the application is approved, you will be issued with a household import certificate that should accompany your shipment.
Menaje de Casa usually have a 6 months window but some special circumstances can allow you to ship the items after the period. You can only make this tax-free application ONCE and you will need to move all your items in that single shipment. Otherwise, you may need to pay import duty and sales taxes on your personal items.
Self-Moving to Mexico
Yes, you can self-move your items without contracting a removals company. However, you are likely to need the services of a Mexican Customs Broker to make the process easier and faster. Since the MCB is experienced in goods moving into Mexico from the US, they’ll help you prepare all the necessary documents.
When self-moving, especially for household goods and personal vehicles, you may need a Temporary Import Permit or a Menaje de Casa certificate. The documents you need will depend on your specific circumstances. Be sure to consult an experienced MCB so that you make the right applications on time.
Cheapest Way to Move to Mexico
The bulk of the international shipping rates to Mexico from US are based on the weight and/or volume of the items being shipped. As such, if you are looking to reduce your costs of shipping, look for alternatives that reduce these two factors. Here are some tips to help you.
- Replace heavy, bulky packaging materials with lighter alternatives. You can look into custom packaging of items for the perfect safety/weight balance
- Slower shipping methods are often the cheapest. If your items are not very urgent, you can opt for sea freight which is cheaper than airfreight
- If you are shipping for business, you can pass some of the duties, taxes, and fees to the customers or add these costs to the selling price
Ecommerce businesses that are looking to expand their markets in Mexico can set up a fulfillment center. This allows you as the business owner to take advantage of cheaper domestic rates especially for returns and exchanges.
International Moving to Mexico
Moving goods to Mexico from US need not be costly or complicated. As long as you have the right shipping partner to help you through packaging, shipping applications, documentations, clearing, forwarding and door to door shipping to Mexico.