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Ocean & Air Shipping From India to Mexico

Get information and quote for FCL, LCL and Air shipping

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Updated on 03 Mar 202215 min read

Over 15,000 kilometers separate India and Mexico. That’s too far for current aircraft to fly direct and a long way for ocean vessels. Despite the huge distance, trade between India and Mexico totaled $10 billion in 2018.

The goods regularly making the journey from the Indian subcontinent to Central America include jewelry, textiles, and software. Whatever goods your business wishes to export from India to Mexico, a freight forwarder can arrange a shipment of ocean or air freight on your behalf.

You’ll find plenty of information about the services freight forwarders provide on this page, as well as tips for shipping ocean and air freight from India to Mexico. You’ll also discover details of notable ports and airports in the two countries, and information about ocean and air shipping routes and transit times.

What Are Your Options for Shipping Freight From India to Mexico?

Flags of India and Mexico for ocean and air freigth shipping with shipa fright from India to Mexico

As with most inter-continental supply chains, the only feasible modes of transportation for your business when importing from India to Mexico are air freight or ocean shipping. Flying your goods is the fastest way, with most air freight shipping taking around eight days. Shipping your cargo by ocean in a shipping container from India to Mexico takes much longer.

Ocean Freight From India to Mexico

Less than Container Load (LCL): With LCL, your goods will share a container with products belonging to other shippers and will be carried to Mexico aboard a cargo vessel. A process called consolidation takes place in the port of origin to combine your goods with others for the journey. Deconsolidation will need to occur in Mexico, and that can mean that LCL shipping takes longer than FCL.

Full Container Load (FCL): FCL shipping does not require you to fill a container with goods. The term simply denotes a form of ocean shipping in which you get exclusive use of a container that you can fill with as much, or as little, cargo as you like. FCL is often faster than LCL and can prove less expensive in terms of shipping cost per unit, per kilo, or per cubic meter, particularly for larger shipments.

Air Freight from India to Mexico

Neither LCL or FCL shipping may be fast enough to satisfy your supply chain if it operates at high velocity. In that case, air freight offers a quicker way to import from India to Mexico, although it is considerably more expensive.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship Freight From India to Mexico?

Several factors come into play when determining the cost of ocean and air shipping from India to Mexico:

  • The weight of the consignment
  • The dimensions and volume of the goods
  • Whether the goods are being shipped by ocean or air
  • The type of goods being shipped

If your shipment weighs less than 100kg it will probably be nearly as economical to fly them as to ship them by ocean carrier.

Shipments weighing over 100kg make for expensive air cargo, so unless your consignees in Mexico are in a hurry to receive the goods, ocean shipping will almost certainly be more cost-effective. Please note that most freight forwarders will not provide quotes for cargo with a total weight of 35 kg or under.

How Long Does it Take to Ship Cargo From India to Mexico?

Mexico and India are almost on opposite sides of the world. Cargo vessels can choose to head east or west from India to reach Central and North America. Either way, ocean shipping takes at least 37 days for FCL and 47 days for LCL.

Air freight has to be flown on indirect services, as the 15,000-kilometer distance is too far for current aircraft to travel on one tank of fuel. However, air freight deliveries can still arrive from India and be ready for collection or onward transportation in Mexico in as little as eight days via indirect flights.

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Sea From India to Mexico?

FCL shipping from India to Mexico takes at least 37 days with LCL usually requiring considerably longer, as you can see from the following transit time examples:

  • Mundra to Manzanillo—46 days FCL, 50 days LCL
  • Nhava Sheva to Manzanillo—46 days FCL
  • Mundra to Altamira—40 days FCL
  • Nhava Sheva to Veracruz—37 days FCL, 47 days LCL
  • Chennai to Manzanillo—49 days FCL, 51 days LCL
  • Nhava Sheva to Altamira—40 days FCL
  • Mundra to Veracruz—41 days FCL

How Long Does It Take to Ship Cargo by Air From India to Mexico?

Goods cannot be flown directly from India to Mexico, as the distance is beyond the reach of current commercial aircraft. Instead, freight forwarders will organize indirect flights to get your air freight to its destination, usually within the following timescales:

  • Chennai to Monterrey—8 days
  • Mumbai to Mexico City—7 days
  • Mumbai to Guadalajara—8 days
  • Delhi to Mexico City—6 days

Customs Clearance in India and Mexico

Containers in the customs clearance zone as Shipa Freight helps with customs clearance

Customs clearance processes are among the most complicated aspects of international shipping. Nevertheless, they are unavoidable in any scenario involving ocean and air shipping from India to Mexico. Every supplier, consignee, and intermediary must engage in the process.

It’s not up to your carrier to take responsibility for ensuring customs clearance for your goods. A freight forwarder will contribute to the process and help you avoid delays and comply with rules and regulations. However, you will still be required to provide specific, accurately completed paperwork to accompany your cargo. Typically, that will include the following documents:

  1. Commercial Invoice

  2. Packing List

  3. Certificate of Origin

  4. Letter of Credit or other payment terms (depending on the contract between the parties involved)

  5. Bill of Lading for ocean freight or Airway Bill for air freight (Your freight forwarder should provide this)

Our Shipping Documents page provides some advice about each of the documents listed above. But please note that your freight forwarder may request additional paperwork, such as permits, licenses, or certificates.

Should You Choose Ocean Freight or Air Freight?

Ocean Freight

Ocean shipping is the transportation mode of choice for many companies with goods to import from India to Mexico. It’s usually the least expensive way to ship goods, but businesses must be prepared for the long shipping times required to move sea freight between India and Mexico.

Your commodities will likely ship on pallets inside a container from India to Mexico. Most major ports in both nations can handle containers, so choosing ports closest to your supplier and consignee will save money on domestic transportation from door to port and port to door.

With ocean shipping, you can choose to ship your goods as either LCL or FCL freight. We’ll help you decide which is best for your business by detailing the pros and cons of both below:

Considerations for LCL Freight Shipping

To benefit from LCL shipping, you need to answer ‘yes’ to the following questions:

  • Are you happy for your goods to travel in a container shared with other shippers’ consignments?
  • Is your shipment relatively small?
  • Will your goods occupy less than half the capacity of a 20-foot shipping container?
  • Are the longer transit times arising from the need for consolidation/deconsolidation acceptable?
  • Are you a frequent shipper who doesn’t want to wait until you have enough orders to fill a container?

Considerations for FCL Freight Shipping

You don’t have to have enough goods to fill a container to benefit from FCL shipping. Even a partially loaded container could work out more cost-effective for your business than LCL. That's because FCL shipping rates are calculated using a flat fee per container, whereas LCL prices depend on weight and volume-based calculations.

Other reasons why FCL could be more attractive to your business include:

  • Typically shorter transit times than LCL, as no consolidation/deconsolidation is necessary
  • Your shipment time cannot be affected by delays arising from other shippers’ issues
  • Minimal moving and handling of goods, thereby reducing the risk of damage to your cargo
  • You can seal your container at the point of origin, and it will remain unopened throughout shipping

Air Freight

Air shipping from India and Mexico is much faster than ocean shipping. But it comes at a higher cost. However, it’s still the preferred mode of shipping for companies that:

  • Have tight deadlines to meet
  • Want the robust security measures offered by airports and airlines
  • Can afford the price tag of air freight, thanks to products with a large profit margin
  • Need to transport perishable, fragile, or delicate cargo that will not survive a long ocean voyage
  • Only have a small consignment to ship—no more than three pallets
  • Have a supplier and consignee located closer to airports than seaports, enabling them to cut overland transit costs

Ocean Cargo Port Guide

Cargo Ports of Origin in India


Port Facts:

  • A privately-owned facility that ranks in the world’s top-50 container ports
  • Ideal for suppliers or manufacturers located in Western India
  • Four container terminals offer expert loading and consolidation services for FCL and LCL shipping to Mexico

Owned By: Adani Group.

Annual Container Volume: >4 million TEUs.


Nhava Sheva

Port Facts:

  • Initially built to handle overflow cargo traffic from the nearby Port of Mumbai
  • Set a new record for annual cargo throughput in India in 2019, handling over five million TEUs
  • Freight is processed in five container terminals
  • The port handles over half of India’s containerized-freight traffic

Owned By: Government of India.

Annual Container Volume: >5 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Located in the Bay of Bengal
  • Dubbed ‘The Gateway to Southern India’
  • Easy access for any supplier or manufacturer moving goods through Southern India

Owned By: Chennai Port Trust, Ministry of Shipping.

Annual Container Volume: >1.5 million TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • A deepwater multi-cargo port lying to the southwest of Surat
  • A privately-owned port with excellent container facilities
  • Strong road and rail links to destinations in Northern, Northwestern and Central India

Owned By: Adani Group.

Annual Container Volume: >300,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • India’s oldest port was re-named Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee Port in January 2020
  • A river-based shipping hub over 200 kilometers from the sea
  • Features 86 wharves and 28 berths on the quayside
  • Ranked third in India for container traffic in 2018-2019
  • The number of containers handled increased by over 4% to over 829,000 TEUs in 2019.

Owned By: Kolkata Port Trust, Ministry of Shipping.

Annual Container Volume: >829,000 TEUs.


Other Ports of Origin in India

In addition to the gateways featured above, there are other ports in India from which you can ship cargo to Mexico. They include:

  • Visakhapatnam
  • Kattupalli
  • Tuticorin
  • Pipavav
  • Haldia
  • Krishnapatnam
  • Mormugao

Cargo Ports of Arrival in Mexico

Lazaro Cardenas

Port Facts:

  • Only 110 kilometers from the border with California in the USA
  • Within easy reach of Ensenada and Tijuana in Mexico
  • Convenient port of arrival if your goods from India are destined for Northern Mexico or the South Western United States

Owned By: Port Authority of Lazaro Cardenas.

Annual Container Volume: >190,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Located on the East Coast of Mexico, 300 kilometers from the capital, Mexico City
  • Situated in an area that’s a magnet for international tourists as well as global shippers
  • Conveniently located for easy onward transportation of goods across the southern and central regions of Mexico

Owned By: Administración Portuaria Integral de Veracruz.

Annual Container Volume: >900,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Situated within 400 kilometers of the border with the United States of America
  • Located on the northern shores of the Gulf of Mexico
  • One of Mexico’s smaller ports
  • Used by many businesses to import chemical goods into Central America

Owned By: Administración Portuaria Integral Altamira.

Annual Container Volume: >680,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Mexico’s largest port
  • Lies on the country’s Pacific Coast
  • A gateway for goods that require delivery into Central Mexico
  • Latin America’s third-largest sea freight hub
  • Plans announced in July 2019 will see the port expand further, with a new container goods facility to be included

Owned By: Hutchison Port Holdings.

Annual Container Volume: >3 million TEUs.


Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide

Airports of Origin in India


Airport Facts:

  • Easily reached by rail and road from all over Southern India
  • The site covers more than eight hectares
  • Can handle three wide-bodied freighters at a time
  • A new, ultra-modern freight terminal is under construction.

Mexico Airports Served: None.

Chennai to Mexico Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Located near India's West Coast
  • Attracts an annual cargo throughput of 900,000 tonnes
  • Only Delhi Airport processes more air freight in India
  • Has a huge air cargo terminal with specialist facilities for handling delicates and perishables

Mexico Airports Served: None.

Mumbai to Mexico Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Its full name is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport
  • Located nine kilometers north of central Ahmedabad
  • Serves the Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad areas of Gujarat in India

Mexico Airports Served: None.

Ahmedabad to Mexico Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Serves the capital city of the Indian state of Karnataka
  • Has two runways, the second of which opened in December 2019
  • Its cargo village has three terminals at which goods bound for Mexico can be processed

Mexico Airports Served: None.

Bangalore to Mexico Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Located about 16 kilometers southwest of New Delhi city center
  • Became India’s busiest air cargo handling center in 2015, overtaking Mumbai
  • Delhi Airport is now South Asia’s largest cargo gateway
  • The site covers over 2000 hectares
  • State-of-the-art facilities include two integrated cargo terminals, a logistics center, and an advanced temperature-controlled storage area

***Mexico Airports Served:***None.

Delhi to Mexico Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Other Airports of Origin in India

There are a few other airports in India from where your goods can be flown by indirect services to Mexico. They are:

  • Cochin
  • Coimbatore
  • Hyderabad
  • Kolkata

Airports of Arrival in Mexico


Airport Facts:

  • Ranks in the top-15 air cargo hubs in Latin America
  • Its two runways and six-hectare air freight terminal handle cargo from all over the world
  • Effective rail and road connections to Northern Mexico allow quick and easy onward distribution of goods

Connected Airports in India: None.

India to Monterrey Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Mexico City

Airport Facts:

  • Located just five kilometers from downtown Mexico City
  • Attracts air freight shipping from all over the world
  • Freight forwarders can usually fly goods from India to this huge air facility in about eight days

Connected Airports in India: None.

India to Mexico City Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Mexico’s second-biggest air freight hub
  • Located 16 kilometers south of the city center
  • Features a 27,000 square-meter cargo terminal with storage for 350,000 tonnes of goods
  • Infrastructure includes an apron allowing six aircraft of any size to load or unload simultaneously

Connected Airports in India: None.

India to Guadalajara Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Why Ship From India to Mexico With Shipa Freight?

Shipa Freight is an online, technology-driven freight forwarder, with a platform that’s designed to save you time and help streamline your international logistics.

We’re equally at home handling small air cargo consignments as we are huge ocean shipments. You can trust us to manage your shipping needs with less hassle and fewer phone calls and emails. Better still, you won’t have to engage multiple agencies when importing from India to Mexico.

Some of the other benefits we bring to the international shipping process include:

  • Fast air and ocean freight quotes via our user-friendly website
  • Easy online booking and payment
  • We’ll show you the forms you need to complete and submit with your consignment
  • Customs clearance expertise and compliance technology
  • A dedicated customer support team, available 24/7 via email, phone, or online chat
  • Access to Agility Logistics’ global network of resources and assets

Know Your Shipping Terminology

To help build your understanding of the language of shipping, we’re ending our country-to-country pages with definitions of potentially confusing terms and jargon. It’s a great chance to familiarize yourself with the ‘lingo’ so you can communicate your needs more effectively.

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