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Logistics across the Mexican border is a dicey game at best. The game will change January 1, 2015.

It all starts with inefficient customs clearance monopoly that has cost US Shippers some $2 billion annually. Relief in sight . . . maybe.

Part of our NAFTA agreement is hopefully changing. There were hidden tariffs in the agreement that were exclusively generated through the control of commercial border crossings by licensed Mexican Customs Brokers. Documents were needed to release cargo from the United States for entry into Mexico and this could only be accomplished by licensed Mexican Customs Brokers. These agents controlled our border at all southbound entry points. Cargo going from the US to Mexico had to be transported to a warehouse for inspection that was owned or controlled by the Mexican Customs Broker. There was no urgency to have the materials cross the border quickly since lengthening their stay would result in broker fees, agent’s fees, warehouse fees and the fee of the drayage motor carrier. All are unnecessary costs to the exports into Mexico. The same process took place coming into the US only with worse consequences. Yes, we had the fees, the cargo was left in the open without security, so drug cartels could easily steal goods or add drugs to the shipment.

The Mexican government has passed new legislation that corrects some of these issues. They are set to go into effect Jan. 1, 2015. These changes aren’t supported by The Mexican Customs Brokers, so the impact is speculative.

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