Redwood Cross-Border Index: Disruption Coming to a Head at Mexico/Texas Border


As nearshoring efforts continue to ramp up in Mexico, the potential for disruption continues to come to light.

According to data collected by Redwood Logistics and Redwood Mexico (collectively referred to as “Redwood”), one of the fastest growing 4PL providers in North America, over $1 billion in freight and nearly 8,000 trailers have been disrupted at the US/Mexico border since September 2023.

The US shift from trailer inspection tasks to immigration tasks has created a backlog like that experienced by seaports from 2020 through 2022.

“The disruption at the border is eerily reminiscent of the disruption experienced at seaports in the midst of the pandemic,” said Jordan Dewart, President, Redwood Mexico (pictured left). “Backlogs at the Port of LA and Long Beach peaked with wait times over a month long. While we aren’t seeing that level of strife at the US/Mexico border, we are seeing relative shipping implications. Wait times at certain crossing points are several hours long.”

The National Chamber of Cargo Transportation (CANACAR), an institution focused on the general interests of the cargo industry in Mexico, collected delay information from four border crossings: Cordoba Americas/Bota, Zaragoza/Yselta, San Jerónimo/Santa Teresa and Guadalupe Tornillo/M. Serna. Data from across these four checkpoints shows an average deviation in border crossings over 1,000 per week. In the provided data set, national averages indicate 3,500 border crossings make up a ‘normal’ week. With the shift to immigration-focused tasks, only 2,417 trailers were able to cross the border through these four terminals.

“Everyone wants to be quicker, but not everyone wants to implement much-needed tools that can ease this transition to nearshoring,” added Dewart. “The path to a brighter logistics future between the US and Mexico comes from combined efforts from all stakeholders involved: shippers, carriers, brokers, freight forwarders and both federal governments. Collaboration is going to be key towards rectifying the disruptions we’re already experiencing at the border.”

While early reports indicate a series of potential roadblocks, the optimism in nearshoring remains strong. Growing pains with manufacturing moves of this magnitude are to be expected. However, partnering with trusted freight experts can help mitigate much of the risk the move to nearshoring can come with.

“We currently offer cross-border capacity solutions, warehousing and distribution, U.S. customs and clearance, Mexico customs and clearance, innovative technology solutions, and physical Redwood assets that assist in the movement of freight,” concluded Dewart. “No matter where you manufacture and move freight from, you’re going to run into disruption. It’s about partnering with the right 3PL or 4PL solution that can help you to ‘dance between the raindrops’.”

For more information on how to best move loads across the US/Mexico border, please contact us here.