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  May 25th, 2024 | Written by

Unlocking Cross-Border Freight Solutions to Facilitate Growth of Nearshoring

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As global trade dynamics continue to evolve, the concept of nearshoring has emerged as a strategic response to mitigate risks and enhance efficiencies in supply chains. Nearshoring, the practice of relocating manufacturing and production closer to the end market, offers a myriad of benefits ranging from reduced country risks to improved speed and quality of goods delivery. However, the successful execution of nearshoring strategies necessitates robust cross-border freight solutions and the cultivation of strong relationships across the supply chain.

Read also: 2024 Brings More Nearshoring and Freight Fraud

The Growing Demand for Cross-Border Freight Solutions

The global supply chain landscape is undergoing a significant transformation, driven by the strategic realignment towards nearshoring. A combination of factors, including efforts to offset country risk, reduce emissions, and mitigate supply chain disruptions, has propelled nearshoring to the forefront of business strategies. According to Gartner, 28% of industrial manufacturing supply chains in 2022 have moved or are planning to move some sourcing or production closer to their end markets. 

Mexico, with its improvement in the quality of goods produced, has emerged as a competitive manufacturing hub. This shift, underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic’s spotlight on the need for faster access to goods, sets the stage for an increased demand for robust cross-border freight solutions. Nearshoring promises several advantages such as reduced delivery timelines and improved quality of goods, making the case for enhanced cross-border logistics solutions.

With nearshoring’s growth trajectory, areas like Texas and the Southeastern United States are bracing for an uptick in demand for cross-border freight services. This scenario necessitates not only an expansion of physical locations closer to customers but also a deep understanding of their needs, ensuring shipments’ visibility, and predictability. 

Emissions reduction emerges as a compelling driver for nearshoring, particularly in comparison to long-distance shipping. Shipping goods from Mexico to the US, for instance, emits significantly fewer emissions than traversing goods halfway across the world. Moreover, the recent spate of supply chain disruptions, epitomized by incidents in the Panama and Suez Canals, underscores the vulnerability inherent in global supply chains. Nearshoring presents a viable solution by offering shorter transit times and minimizing reliance on vulnerable transit routes.

Quality assurance also emerges as a pivotal factor contributing to the attractiveness of nearshoring. Perceptions of inferior quality associated with goods manufactured in certain regions have now dissipated as nearshoring has increased investment in quality control processes, where rigorous quality assurance measures have propelled Mexican manufacturing to rival or surpass domestic standards.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic served as a catalyst for reevaluating the resilience of global supply chains. Heightened demand for essential goods coupled with disruptions in traditional supply routes underscored the importance of agility and proximity in manufacturing and distribution networks. Nearshoring emerged as a strategic imperative to mitigate risks associated with overreliance on distant suppliers, thereby ensuring timely access to critical goods.

Overcoming Challenges through Creative Solutions and Relationships

Despite the numerous benefits of nearshoring, challenges persist in implementing efficient cross-border freight solutions specific to the US-Mexico border. Shortages of drivers and equipment pose significant logistical hurdles, necessitating creative solutions, such as transloading at the border and leveraging through-service capabilities to optimize freight movement. 

Building and nurturing relationships emerge as a cornerstone of successful nearshoring initiatives. Establishing trust and transparency with carriers and partners is paramount in navigating the complexities of cross-border freight logistics. Investing in Spanish-speaking personnel facilitates deeper understanding of customer needs and fosters collaborative partnerships across the supply chain.

Trust and relationship-building with carriers emerge as critical components due to tracking inconsistencies and communication barriers in Mexico. Offering comprehensive services, including cross-docking and expedited deliveries, represent key competitive advantages in the nearshoring market. Furthermore, proper documentation and streamlined processes are vital to averting border congestion and facilitating smooth cross-border operations.

The importance of establishing strong relationships with carriers cannot be overstated. These partnerships are not merely logistical necessities; they are strategic imperatives that enable businesses to tailor their logistics strategies effectively. By fostering better communication and understanding with carriers, businesses can develop innovative solutions to tackle the challenges of driver and equipment shortages, ultimately enhancing the resilience of cross-border freight operations.

As companies pivot towards localized manufacturing and production, robust logistics infrastructure and collaborative partnerships will be indispensable in navigating the complexities of cross-border trade. By embracing innovation and fostering enduring relationships, companies can unlock the full potential of nearshoring while mitigating risks and enhancing operational resilience in an increasingly dynamic global landscape.

Author Bio

Derek Holst is the Senior Vice President of Sales and Operations at Circle Logistics, one of the fastest-growing transportation companies in the nation, servicing over $700 million in freight spend. As a Top 50 Freight Brokerage Firm, Circle combines the dedication of a privately owned asset-based 3PL with the coverage of a public large-scale provider to create a superior modern freight experience. Circle is committed to delivering on three core promises to our customers: No Fail Service, Personalized Communication, and Innovative Solutions and provides coverage across all modes of transportation in the continental United States and Mexico, including Dry Van, Flatbed, Reefer, LTL, Expedite, Oversize and Air. For more information, visit