Aug. 5: On August 4th, President Trump backed off the threat to shut down points of entry along the U.S. and Mexico border. However, the current situation has not changed the fact that drivers are facing long waits to cross. Some drivers are waiting eight hours or more to get through customs.
Amid growing tensions surrounding the U.S. and Mexico border, shippers need to prepare for expected shipment delays. Following an influx of Central American migrants arriving at the border, the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) is shuffling personnel and assets around to manage the situation. As a result, many officers and inspectors that are generally tasked with checking trucks and freight moving back and forth across the border are being temporarily reassigned to work more closely with migrants.
This reassignment is expected to cause supply chain delays as drivers will be waiting at border crossings for extended periods of times. Major crossing points, including El Paso, Laredo and McAllen, will be impacted by this situation.
Potential For A Full Border Closing
In addition to limited resources and personnel being able to inspect and process cross-border freight, there is also a chance that the entire border, or sections, could be fully closed to traffic. Last Friday, President Trump threatened to shut down the border with Mexico this week unless Mexico makes progress to stop the flow of migrants.
In the event of a complete closure, supply chains that rely on cross-border freight transportation will be heavily impacted. Unfortunately, there is no timetable for how long shippers can expect delays from CBP personnel reassignments to impact delivery targets. Additionally, it would be impossible to currently gauge how long a complete closure would last or its impact.
Make Plans To Expedite Freight Now
In order to meet delivery targets, shippers may want to consider utilizing expedited delivery services. If the border was to actually be closed down, now would be the time to start making plans.