In the weekly U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) call yesterday, an update was provided to the trade on the current state of cargo flow across the U.S. Mexico Border Operations.
CBP has already reassigned 545 officers from the Laredo, El Paso and San Diego field offices for 30-day shifts to help with the border situation. A new wave of CBP officers will be pulled from major airports on April 14. This will encompass 100 officers in total, with 60 going to Laredo and 40 to El Paso.
If more are needed, on April 28 another 125 will be pulled from major airports, seaports and the U.S. northern border. If the situation persists and even more officers are needed, CBP will pull from ocean ports in May to backfill the 545 officers on duty.
While some border crossings have improved times, others remain unchanged or worse. El Paso’s peak wait time declined from seven hours last week to four hours this week, while Laredo was unchanged and Otey Mesa rose from four hours to seven. Mariposa will remain closed on Sunday and the Bridge of Americas at El Paso will remain close on Saturday. Since these are low volume days, CBP is using those times to reassign officers to busier locations. No additional closures are anticipated at this time.
As a recap, shippers have the following options:
- Air Freight – While some delays at Mexican airports freight is still moving faster than at the border. Below is a sample of possible flight options from major U.S. airports to Mexico cities. Click the photo to enlarge the chart below.
- Ocean Freight – Freight at seaports continue to move without delay. Below is a sample of some available ocean services between U.S. and Mexico.
- Rail – No delays
- Utilize the FAST Lane – CBP has stated that FAST and C-TPAT customers remain prioritized on northbound freight. To utilize the FAST lane, the carrier and driver must be enrolled with the port of entry in advance. In this scenario, every link in the supply chain (Manufacturer, Carrier, Driver and Importer) must be C-TPAT certified. More information on FAST can be found here. CBP is also recommending that all parties ensure their C-TPAT account is up to date, including primary points of contact and ensuring that annual security procedure are submitted 90 days in advance. These participants are encouraged to arrive at the ports early, when the wait time is lowest.