New UPS Freight Service Between U.S. and Mexico

UPS announced UPS CrossBorder Connect, a ground freight service between the United States and Mexico designed to significantly ease heavyweight freight supply chain challenges for companies investing in cross-border trade.

This new service bundles UPS’s transportation and customs brokerage expertise north and south of the border to boost speed to market, drive cost efficiencies and reduce supply chain risk.

UPS CrossBorder Connect is a contractual service that uses the trucking network that supports UPS’s North American Air Freight service. That network has been connected with carriers in Mexico at eight important points along the U.S.-Mexico border. By integrating UPS’s brokerage capabilities, the service helps companies with the complex brokerage process and is designed to help reduce customs delays associated with border regulations, inspections and lengthy paperwork.

“With the global rise in fuel and labor costs, near-sourcing has become an increasingly viable option for many businesses looking to reduce their production and supply chain costs and expand their market share,” Steve Flowers, president, UPS Global Freight Forwarding, said in a press release. “For example, we’re seeing more high-tech and automotive companies now moving production closer to consumption points in North and South America, and UPS CrossBorder Connect can help them navigate the complexities inherent in U.S.-Mexico trade while containing costs.”

Flowers added: “Our research clearly revealed the gaps in service options that exist for today’s customers. 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.”

Prior to this service offering, cross-border heavyweight freight shipping options were limited to air freight or conventional less-than-truckload (LTL) movements, providing shippers with little middle ground between air freight and standard heavyweight ground freight shipping.

UPS CrossBorder Connect provides coverage through full transportation and brokerage services at eight major border crossings: Otay Mesa and Calexico, CA.; Nogales, AZ; El Paso, Laredo, McAllen, Harlingen and Brownsville, TX.

Although U.S. and Mexican trucks had been authorized to cross the shared border under the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, the U.S. has effectively refused to let Mexican trucks into the U.S. thanks to organized resistance here over the years that focused on whether those vehicles meet U.S. highway safety and environmental standards.

Last year the Mexican government placed tariffs on a number of U.S. goods after Congress shot down funding for a pilot program that had allowed long-haul Mexican trucks across the border.

Last month President Obama announced the two countries now have a deal on the table to open U.S. highways to Mexican truck operators. Obama said the proposed agreement deal would be headed next to Congress for approval.

Jim Tierney ( is a senior writer for Multichannel Merchant. You can connect with him on Twitter (TierneyMCM) and LinkedIn, or call him at 203-358-4265.