Mexico has become a popular manufacturing hub for North American companies looking to shrink their supply chains. But this near-sourcing trend creates real challenges. Many component parts used during the assembly process in Mexico are made by Chinese suppliers and there is very limited direct air freight service from China to Mexico.
The greatest need is among manufacturers of electronics, automotive and aerospace products that require rapid replenishment of inbound components. Therefore, ocean shipping is not an option. These companies want the speed of air freight, but currently Cathay Pacific is the only carrier offering direct freighter service for China to Mexico shipping.
Another factor limiting available capacity is that larger components, like molds and dies, can’t ship on passenger planes because of the 116 cm maximum height restriction on palletized air cargo.
Solution: China to Mexico Shipping Via the US
In response to demand from Chinese component part manufacturers, Dimerco has introduced its Air+Road solution for China to Mexico shipping – via the US. The door-to-door solution uses Dimerco’s existing direct freighter service from China into the US and combines it with bonded trucking service that transports cargo directly to the international airport in Mexico that is closest to the consignee. Cargo never enters US Customs territory so duty payments are deferred until final customs clearance in Mexico.
Total door-to-door transit time is 6–8 days for the Dimerco solution – just 2 to 3 days longer than direct airport-to-airport service. You’ll save 30–40% percent shipping Air+Road via the US.
Here’s how it works.
1. Cargo is transported using Dimerco’s regular consolidated flights from China to the US.
2. Dimerco arranges bonded truck transport to any Mexico airport, duty free across the border.
3. Customs inspection and clearance happens at the airport closest to the consignee. Cargo is treated by Customs as an airport-to-airport shipment. Clearance is typically managed by the consignee’s Customs Broker.
4. Dimerco arranges last-mile delivery using our long-time trucking partner in Mexico.
This diagram illustrates the process flow.
The popularity of the service is growing as customers are happy to trade the few extra days of transit time for added savings and reliable air freight capacity.
Keys to Success
The multi-country, multimodal global freight solution relies on some key elements to make it work.
- Existing capacity. Dimerco has block space agreements with key Asia-based air carriers and can guarantee the space.
- Experienced operations teams. Careful coordination of details at origin and the US destination gateway is critical. Dimerco has owned offices in all 4 origin and transit destination cities and these teams collaborate daily using the company’s global operating system to share data and documents.
- Rapid processing of required paperwork. Once cargo arrives, Dimerco must file an “immediate exportation” entry with US Customs that allows cargo to move in-bond into Mexico without passing through Customs. This paperwork must be executed quickly and provided to bonded trucking partners to keep cargo moving quickly to the destination.
- Clearance at the destination airport. The in-bond trucking service allows cargo to avoid clearance at the Mexican border, which can add days to the trip. Clearance at the border would also require the consignee to use a Customers Broker with a presence at the border, which many do not have.
- Safe transit. In-bond trucking from the US direct to the airport in Mexico is a non-stop, highway-only trip by a two-driver team. This avoids security concerns for high-value cargo.
A Practical Solution to a Growing Challenge
Users of global air freight services are typically looking for the fastest transit time available. While this trans-shipment solution increases transit time by a few days, it is a practical response to the near absence of direct air freight shipping from China to Mexico.