Is Cross-Docking Right for Your El Paso Business?

A cross-docking worker preparing for a new shipment at the shipyard.

A cross-docking worker preparing for a new shipment at the shipyard.The importance of the supply chain industry in modern business is due to many reasons. A successful business needs a fast, productive, and effective delivery of goods. If the supply chain is followed correctly, it increases the business efficiency and significantly reduces the time taken in transportation.

Click here to know more about cross-docking for your El Paso business

Before we dive deeper, let’s take a look at what cross-docking is.

What is Cross-docking?

Cross-docking is a supply chain model that immediately transfers goods from suitable suppliers to retailers or whole sellers directly with little or no storage.

This practice promotes faster replenishment and reduces shipping costs as it positions the inventory closer to the customer, which it has to supply.

It is done in docking terminals. The goods are unloaded from suppliers and loaded onto trucks that are headed to the customer or end-user.

Why is Cross-Docking Right for Your El Paso Business?

These are a few advantages of cross-docking that is highly beneficial for your El Paso business.

  • You can save a significant amount, as it means you don’t need more space for storage. In cross-docking, warehouse space is used to store for less time as it can be sent to the end customer quickly.
  • You can eliminate expenses like storing goods, handling and counting these goods, and insurance of inventory costs money. The best thing about it is the immediate transfer to the end customer with minimum holding time.
  • It edges the risk of your goods getting spoiled or damaged because of the immediate transportation facility, which leads to retaining the quality of products.
  • This has altered the idea of transportation. Now it is easy to manage large packaging as they break down large packages into smaller ones which are easy to handle and load in trucks. This exercise also edges the damage risk of the goods.
  • It provides a central site to handle products. The goods that will be transported at dock locations are sorted and loaded onto multiple carriers or transporters based on the shipment’s final destination.
  • When done correctly, it improves productivity quite well as you will be aware that your goods are in safe hands and will be transported quickly without any loss.
  • With the right cross-docking company, you can improve customer relationships because the proper packaging and on-time delivery are what a customer looks for. 
  • If you are dealing in the business of frozen items or products that need a specific temperature to be stored or transported at the right time, then it is better to go for a cross-docking company that fulfills all your requirements. 

Why Do You Need Cross-Docking?

To run a business successfully, cross-docking can work quite well and gives you a number of benefits. They can handle your transport problems and loading and unloading procedures, and now they are equipped with advanced technologies and machinery that effectively do things. 

Now, the companies that provide these services have forklifts, pallet trucks, conveyor belts, and more equipment that ensure faster loading and unloading processes. They can handle multiple deliveries in a single day without any difficulty and mismanagement. 

Cross-Docking in El Paso

We hope now you understand why it is essential to have a reliable cross-docking service for your business in El Paso. If you are looking for expert cross-docking services, then contact Cordova Brokerage and let us transport your goods with care. 

What You Need to Know About Importing Goods From Mexico

flag of America and Mexico with postal packages logistic center 3d-illustration

flag of America and Mexico with postal packages logistic center 3d-illustration

Mexico is one of the United States’ biggest trading partners. Every day, there are about $1.7 billion in products and services crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The relationship between the two nations cannot be emphasized enough, and it’s why trading agreements such as NAFTA and the most-recently-negotiated USMCA (United States Mexico Canada Agreement) made top news and ruffled political feathers when it was threatened. As these trade agreements were negotiated, the importance of the Mexican market was once again highlighted here at home. 

The importing process, of course, is another matter altogether, and one that requires a hefty amount of paperwork, understanding of laws and regulations, and customs clearance processes. 

Here’s what you need to know about importing goods from Mexico. 

If you’re looking for a customs broker in El Paso to help you import goods from Mexico, the Cordova Brokerage team is there to help. Headquartered in El Paso, Texas, we know the border regulations inside and out!

Importing Goods from Mexico 

Mexico is the second-largest supplier of goods for the United States. According to the most recent data, Mexico’s trade accounted for about 671.1 billion in 2018, which tallied up to more than the total trade with our northern neighbor Canada. The biggest categories of goods coming in through our Southern border include:

  • Vehicles
  • Electrical machinery 
  • Agricultural products
  • Mineral fuels
  • Optical and medical equipment 

What You Need to Consider When Importing Goods 

When talking about international trade—imports or exports—companies and businesses should note that every country is different. A lot of factors play when looking at important goods in the United States, all of which should be understood to avoid setbacks or loss of revenue. 

Factors to consider are:

  • Regulations of what you can and cannot import into the United States 
  • Tariffs on goods and where you import them from 
  • The time and the cost of transportation 
  • Other regulatory hoops 

Key Facts About Importing Goods from Mexico 

Many importers like working with Mexico as a country of origin for their goods because of the friendly relations and trade agreements between the two nations. Some of the benefits of importing from Mexico include:

  • Reduced or waived import duties. Consider import duties as an additional tax that a company must pay to customs authorities as a rate in addition to any goods coming in from other countries. Authorities calculate this duty with a percentage of the total value of the goods or the weight of the goods. Imports from Mexico, by contrast, do not have import duties.  
  • Faster turnarounds. The proximity of Mexico to the United States reduces the turnaround time. Overseas imports, for example, have to account for a long transportation time from the moment the order is put in when it arrives in U.S. ports. The reduction in transport time can translate to more efficient orders and a major benefit to those working under fast fulfillment timelines, dealing with supply chain issues, etc.  
  • Expedited communication. When working with international partners and companies, communication is key to ensuring the smooth flow of goods and payments. Because of Mexico’s geographical proximity, the time zones are very much lined up. The fact that Mexico and the United States share time zones make communication back and forth easier and more reliable.  
  • Decreased transportation costs. The geographical location of Mexico just south of the border also reduces the physical distance that goods need to travel. By having imported goods travel a shorter distance, costs associated with transportation are significantly reduced.  
  • Stable national relations. Mexico and the United States have amicable and working political and social relations, as well as trade relations. When countries have volatile relations, it can make the market less stable and subject to new tariffs, taxes, or stringent regulations. 

Other Things to Note

Despite the stable relations between the two countries, there is still a long list of rules and government regulations that companies must follow when importing goods from Mexico. For example:

  • The most commonly used import document from Mexico is the Customs Declaration Form for customs clearance. Mexico requires this completed document to be accompanied by a commercial invoice, a bill of lading, payment documentation, and more. 
  • All Mexican importers are required to register with the Official Register of importers. 
  • If you are exporting to Mexico, it’s worthy to note that Mexican customs regulations are strict and require absolute compliance. 
  • Products that qualify under the USMCA agreement will typically require a set of nine data elements in order to pass through as USMCA authorized products. 

Thinking of Importing Goods from Mexico, Find a Trusted Customs Broker to Guide You 

The job of a customs broker is to help clients move through the customs process effectively and in full compliance. Whether you are importing from Mexico or another country, the rules and regulations might differ, and understanding of paperwork and required documentation your goods can arrive on time and without added fees or penalties. 

Want to learn more about how to effectively import goods from Mexico? Contact Cordova Brokerage for expert guidance and advice. 

The Many Roles of a Customs Brokerage: Importing, Paperwork, & Clearance

A businessman selecting a Customs Concept button on a clear screen.

A customs broker is a type of middleman. They are facilitators. Experts on laws and regulations that are ever-changing and shifting. A customs broker represents the interests of the United States as it relates to the importation and exportation of goods across international waters and borders. Here at Cordova Customs Brokers, we thought we’d take a moment to explain the day in the life of a customs broker, what we do, what we’re responsible for, and why it’s important to go with the one you trust. 

To put it simply, a customs broker works with importers and exporters of goods. Everything that comes in through this country’s borders must be documented and follow what we call compliance. We get shipments cleared through customs and other agencies that might need to get involved with shipments. There are thousands of shipments that come in each day, as the relative size of imports has grown from 10% of GDP in the early 1990s to 15% in 2017. 

Why Do Importers Need a Customs Broker?

Bringing goods into the United States, or any other country might seem simple on its face. In reality, each country has its own set of rules and regulations when it comes to bringing in goods from other countries. As it is stated by Customs, “When a normal ‘entry of merchandise’ is made under the provisions of 19 U.S.C the required information and documentation is required to be filled or electronically transmitted by the “importer of record.”

As customs brokers, we work for the ‘importer of record.’ They are our clients and we represent their interests in successfully getting their goods into the United States in order to do business. The United States has regulations as well and it can make importing goods a little more complicated. A customs broker navigates the complicated process for you, getting through the paperwork, compliance, and dealing with various agencies on your behalf. 

These shipments include everything from crabmeat to squeaky toys for dogs, children’s toys, shrimp, and more. 

The process of customs brokerage existed as early as the 1850s when an importer or consignee endorsed the bill of lading over to a tradesman. These tradesmen were called ‘customhouse brokers.’ In the beginning, these brokers would sign the merchandise with their name instead of the original consignee but it led to many problems. This issue was resolved with the Customs Regulations of 1857 and the beginning of what were to be many new changes to the way we do imports. 

What is the Process of Importation like? 

It depends on whether shipments are coming through by air, water, or land. As a general overview, however, the process is relatively similar. When we work with an importer, we get the information we need and input it into specialized software that will sort through the information and send it to Customs and Border Protection. So, for example, if there is a shipment coming in, we do the paperwork and preliminary clearance before they get to the designated terminal. If the product needs to be approved by another agency like the FDA, this needs to be done as well. When the shipment comes in, it will be cleared in their computer system and the goods will be good to enter and be released to whoever is going to pick them up from there. 

Today, it is all done electrically. Technology has certainly given our job a major advantage and speeded up the process of importation in the last couple of decades. 

On any given day, a customs broker that works with importers will see any number of different types of goods. Shipments will come in carrying food like shrimp, crabmeat, and other delicacies, toys from cheap toys to more commercially popular ones, clothes, and more. Many shipments come in from China, as one of our biggest importers. One interesting tidbit here is that shrimp is actually a big import. Thousands of people in the United States consume a lot of shrimp each day. 

What is the advantage of working with a customs broker? 

As we mentioned earlier, we act as a kind of middleman that facilitates the process between various entities and agencies. Most importers are business people who want to keep to the business they are in and are not interested in being backlogged with a bunch of paperwork and confusing regulations. This is where we come in. We take care of all the legal stuff so their shipments will have no problems at the border, so they will be cleared, and ready to continue with the business of making money. 

We take care of:

  • Clearing goods through customs 
  • Making sure those goods reach their destinations
  • Calculate duty or tariff payments owed
  • Compile and fill out necessary documentation like invoices, certificates, and cargo-control documents
  • Keep on top of changes in export or import laws and regulations

Are You an Importer Looking to Bring Goods Into the U.S? Call a Trusted Customs Broker

Here at Cordova Customs Brokerage, we have been helping importers do business in the United States for many years. Our brokers are always up to speed with new regulations and changes—as they happen often—and abreast of all necessary compliance guidelines. Call us today for more information.