Mexican Customs’ NEEC trusted shipper program may increase in importance should other manufacturers in Mexico follow Ford’s lead.

Ford Motor Company has recently stated that it is proactively encouraging its transportation service providers to become certified in Mexico’s Nuevo Esquema de Empresas Certificadas (NEEC) program. The NEEC is the Mexican government’s equivalent of US Customs C-TPAT supply chain security program. Although participation in the program is on a voluntary basis, Ford’s push in this area may cause others to follow suit. This will possibly, over time, increase the importance of the program for shippers in Mexico.

In concrete terms, the daily cross border volume of commercial freight that Ford and its supplier network generates on a daily basis is significant. Each day, via diverse Mexican ports of entry that include land, sea and air, Ford and its suppliers are responsible for the completion of sixteen hundred import trade transactions. On the export side of the ledger, Ford and its supplier base generate approximately nine hundred Customs transaction each business day. According to published information one percent of Ford parts are shipped by air, four percent travel by sea, forty-six percent are moved by rail and forty-nine percent of the auto parts utilized by the major OEM are shipped by land via truck.

Ford takes the lead

Ford is the first major automotive OEM to actively urge its manufacturing partners to become recognized by and adhere to the practices and conditions spelled out in the rules and regulations outlined in the Nuevo Esquema de Empresas Certificadas (NEEC) program. Company officials feel that participation will enhance the ability of supply chain partners to access, adopt and maintain best practices. According to Rafael Lopez, the director of materials planning of Ford de Mexico, participation in the NEEC will help our company to “succeed in forming a more solid logistics network.”

From the perspective of the leadership of Ford de Mexico NEEC certification has two principal advantages to those that have met the program requirements. They are:

  • the benefit of avoiding lengthy inspections by Mexican Customs;
  • the formation and maintenance of an agile supply chain that is capable of effectively serving companies’ manufacturing centers.

Mexican Customs began its version of a trusted shipper program, the Nuevo Esquema de Empresas Certificadas (NEEC) in 2011. When it began, its purpose was to exclusively monitor the export portion of the manufacturing supply chain in Mexico, but since that time it has expanded to include importers within the purview of the program’s rules and regulations. Given Ford’s move to encourage its suppliers to participate in the NEEC, it can be anticipated that its importance will increase over time. This prospect is especially probable, should other major OEMs with assembly plant follow the company’s lead. Almost a full twenty eight percent of Mexican exports are linked to the country’s burgeoning automotive industry.