Supply Chain Risks at US/Mexico Border




German, Alston

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Institute for Homeland Security


The US/Texas-Mexico border region serves as a vital artery for international trade, essential for linking markets and fueling economic growth. The region's importance extends to multiple sectors, including automotive. Managing supply chain risks pertinent to this area is integral for maintaining smooth operations. This report analyses the challenges faced along the border, from security threats to infrastructural constraints and regulatory complexities. It aims to equip supply chain managers with effective strategies and recommendations to navigate these challenges, particularly from a Texas viewpoint. This report explores the US-Mexico border's economic, political, social, environmental, and cultural significance. It dissects the intricacies of supply chain operations and identifies potential threats leading to disruptions. To mitigate these risks, such as trade policy changes, cross-border delays, labor disputes, natural disasters, cybersecurity threats, regulatory compliance, and economic instability, the report outlines practical strategies. These tactics include supplier diversification, technology integration, fostering strong supplier relationships, risk assessment and planning, inventory management, resilient design, robust cybersecurity measures, and financial risk management. For instance, supplier diversification and geographical dispersion diminish the impact of disruptions, while technology integration facilitates real-time tracking, predictive analytics, and efficient communication. Regulatory compliance, reinforced by robust cybersecurity measures, ensures quality and shields against potential disruptions. The report also underscores the Texan values of resilience, collaboration, innovation, self reliance, and preparedness and their importance in managing the US/Mexico trade. The implementation of the discussed strategies is in alignment with these values, exhibiting their relevance in handling supply chain risks. Emphasizing the need for continuous cooperation and dialogue between the US and Mexico, the report concludes by affirming the importance of proficiently managing supply chain risks. This approach aids in preserving the prosperity of cross-border trade and contributes to the economic robustness of both nations. Companies in the automotive industry, such as Ford and GM, have exemplified the successful implementation of these strategies, demonstrating their efficiency in minimizing disruptions and promoting the seamless flow of goods and services during events like the COVID-19 pandemic. In conclusion, this report elucidates the applicability of various strategies in mitigating supply chain risks. These tactics, adaptable to specific needs and risk tolerance of companies, foster a resilient and secure supply chain, ensuring the uninterrupted flow of goods and services across the US/Texas-Mexico border.



Supply Chain, US/Mexico Border


German, A. (2023) Supply chain Risks at US/Mexico Border. (Report No. IHS/CR-2023-1008). The Sam Houston State University Institute for Homeland Security.