Mexico's Customs System Crash: A Buzzkill for US-Mexico Trade

A failure of Mexico's Customs system to validate entries leads to a near-total stop of freight movement across the border.

Mexico's Customs System Crash: A Buzzkill for US-Mexico Trade

FreightCaviar has received some concerning news coming from Mexico's borders: A failure of Mexico's Customs system to validate entries led to a near-total stop of freight movement across the border.

The customs system issue began nearly two days ago, as reported by FreightCaviar on X. We've also noticed an absence of U.S.-based reporting on the problem.

View of a line of commercial trucks due to heavy delays.

Here's what we know so far:

  • The Initial Glitch occurred about 48 hours ago, with Spanish-language outlets stating that freight movement was facing massive delays as a result.
  • Tech Troubles Galore: The CAAAREM team reports a series of tech hiccups from slow validation to complete communication blackouts at customs, with Querétaro and other spots going silent.
  • The Week from Hell J Alfredo Cardenas chimes in on our post, saying it’s been a nightmare week. The system's been so out of whack that Mexican Customs had to rely on a secondary protocol. Then, the banking bit crashes, too. Cardenas says they were able to cross just 25% of their usual loads. Rumor also has it that this may be the result of a "major hack."
  • Everyone’s Feeling It: From truckers to CEOs, the frustration's sky-high. The SAT and customs are getting called out for dropping the ball on modernizing their gear and basically leaving everyone hanging.
  • Traffic Jam City: Matt Silver, Co-Founder of Cross-Border Logistics company Cargado, confirms it's a mess – imports and exports are stuck in limbo because the system's down, causing a massive backlog, and even prepped shipments are stuck in the world’s worst traffic jam.

So what now?

Mikhail Rasner from MiRUnited is basically saying we're a step away from a disaster– zero imports getting through, and if this doesn't get fixed ASAP, we're looking at empty shelves and food panics​.

“This situation has gone from mildly inconvenient to a potential disaster. In the same week where most of CBP was already off on Monday due to MEX’s Memorial Day we now have had 2 continuous days of zero imports allowed entry into the MEX-US border. If this continues past today there may be some legitimate concern for potential food shortages. The fact that MEX is doing very little to report on this leads me to believe this is either potentially much worse than meets the eye or they are simply attempting to keep their people from rushing grocery stores and other similar establishments.” - Mikhail Rasner, MiRUnited

UPDATE: As of writing this article, Silver followed up that the systems came back up yesterday afternoon after being down for the 48-hour period.

"The delays were apparently glitches that shut the whole system down. Nothing could be filed and customs brokers were attempting to do it manually, which caused even more delays.

Thankfully, things are quickly getting back to normal but it could take a week or longer for things to catch up and be at a fully normal level again. There's a serious need for better technology in Mexico." -Matt Silver, Co-Founder of Cargado

His comments echo those expressed in our newsletter feature story today that pointed out some of the emerging problems as Mexico takes the lead as the number one trading partner of the U.S.

🇲🇽 Mexico Freight Surge
We’re also hearing grumbling about a halt in Mexico trade as customs systems crash, impacting imports and exports. The glitch has caused widespread delays over the last 48 hours.

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