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Ocean and Air Shipping from Mexico to Brazil

FCL, LCL and Air shipping comprehensive guide and instant online quote

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Updated on 15 Mar 202213 min read

Brazil is Mexico’s largest Latin American trade partner. The two dominant economies in the region began negotiations on a free trade deal in 2019. Despite ongoing trade tensions, plenty of opportunity exists for shippers exporting or importing from Mexico to Brazil.

This page is designed to help you exploit those opportunities. It contains information that will assist both experienced and novice international shippers, so you can import more easily and successfully.

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

There are two ways to import or export from Mexico to Brazil—by air or by sea. Each has advantages and drawbacks which we’ll outline on this page.

Ocean Freight From Mexico to Brazil

Less than Container Load (LCL): In this form of shipping, you pay for your freight to occupy space in a shared container. Your goods will be consolidated with consignments from other shippers. The consolidation and deconsolidation required with LCL can mean slightly longer shipping durations than FCL.

Full Container Load (FCL): Often the fastest form of ocean shipping, FCL gives you exclusive use of a container for your cargo. Your freight forwarder will arrange for an ocean carrier to ship your container from Mexico to Brazil.

Air Freight from Mexico to Brazil

Using air freight services is the fastest way to import from Mexico to Brazil. However, this form of shipping comes with a higher price tag than ocean shipping.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship Cargo From Mexico to Brazil?

Bag of money and graph to represent the cost of Shipa Freight's quotes

When calculating a quote for a shipment, freight forwarders will need to know the following information about your consignment:

  • Whereabouts in Mexico you need your goods to be shipped from
  • The final destination for your goods in Brazil
  • The nature of the cargo you need to ship
  • If air freight is your preferred mode of transport, or if you want LCL or FCL ocean shipping
  • The size, weight, and volume of your freight

Got a consignment with a weight of 35kg or less? Freight forwarders don’t quote for such light loads, but international couriers do. Does your consignment weigh 35 kg to 100 kg? You’re unlikely to find much difference in the cost of shipping by air or ocean, so choose the quickest.

For consignments weighing over 100 kg, ocean shipping is usually more affordable than air freight for most shippers.

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

Nothing beats air shipping when it comes to speed. So if your goods are required urgently in Brazil, that’s the way to go. You should allow at least five days for your export or import from Mexico to Brazil to be completed.

Ocean shipping is a slower process. You should allow 24 to 32 days for goods to reach your consignee in Brazil.

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

You should allow at least three weeks for your goods to travel in a shipping container from Mexico to Brazil. It’s nearly 12,000 kilometers by ocean from Altamira in Mexico to Santos in Brazil. LCL shipments between the two locations can be completed in 24 days. Moving goods from Altamira to Vitoria takes 32 days (using an FCL service).

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

Five to eight days is the typical duration of air shipping from Mexico to Brazil. Although the flight time is only a matter of hours, processes and procedures must be followed with every consignment, resulting in several days of transit time overall.

Customs Clearance Procedures in Mexico and Brazil

All commercial goods imports from Mexico to Brazil need to adhere to strict customs rules. Appropriate documentation must be submitted with your shipment, including the following:

  1. Commercial Invoice

  2. Packing List

  3. Certificate of Origin

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

  5. Bill of Lading for ocean freight or Airway Bill for air freight (Shipa Freight will provide this for you)

You can see samples of the above on this documents list page, which gives you a chance to take a closer look at each item if you wish.

Please be aware that your consignment may require additional paperwork, such as a certificate, license, and/or permit. Your freight forwarder will let you know if this is the case. It’s all part of the complex process that is customs clearance. Many businesses prefer to leave the task to their forwarder. At least then they know unnecessary delays can be avoided and that compliance with relevant shipping regulations is assured.

Should You Choose Ocean or Air Shipping From Mexico to Brazil?

Ocean Freight

Got a limited budget for your shipping? Are you sending heavy goods or a large consignment? In these scenarios, ocean shipping will often be your best choice. When you choose sea freight, your forwarder will arrange for an ocean carrier to transport your goods in a shipping container from Mexico to Brazil.

You can ship most goods from port to port, or even door to door, in a standard 20ft or 40ft container. Other types of containers are available to ship freight that requires special conditions to be maintained for safe shipping. Your forwarder will advise if your goods need such a container.

As well as a choice of container, with ocean shipping, you also get a choice between LCL and FCL. The relative advantages and disadvantages of these modes of shipping are featured below:

Considerations for LCL Freight Shipping

LCL shipping requires your goods to share container space with products from other shippers. It’s a good choice for your business if:

  • Your consignment is no bigger than six standard pallets
  • You only want to pay for the container space you’re using, based on the volume of your goods
  • Your goods can be safely transported in the same container as other products
  • Your freight isn’t urgently required in Brazil
  • Sending your cargo as air freight is not an option

You might be advised to avoid LCL shipping if:

  • Your consignment is high-value, delicate, or perishable
  • Frequent handling or moving of your goods could detrimentally affect their quality
  • You don’t like the idea of having no control over the type of goods that will be loaded in the container

Considerations for FCL Freight Shipping

With full-container-load shipping, your goods get exclusive use of a container. This could be your best option if:

  • Your consignment is needed in Brazil by a specific date
  • You’re happy paying to rent an entire container even if you might not fill it
  • Your goods are too heavy, big, or delicate to be shipped in a shared container
  • You want your container sealed in Mexico and for it to remain so unless customs officials intervene

Air Freight

Choose air shipping from Mexico to Brazil if:

  • You’re working to an urgent deadline
  • Your cargo will fill three pallets at most
  • Your supplier and recipient are based near to an international airport
  • Your goods are valuable, requiring the highest levels of security
  • Your goods are fragile, perishable, or both

Ocean Cargo Port Guide

Cargo Ports of Origin in Mexico


Port Facts:

  • Only 400 km from the border with the USA
  • This is Mexico’s third-largest port
  • Located on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico
  • LCL shipments to Santos can be completed in 24 days

Owned By: Administración Portuaria Integral Altamira.

Annual Container Volume: >680,000 TEUs.


Lazaro Cardenas

Port Facts:

  • Located in Northern Mexico, only 110km from the United States’ border
  • One of the largest seaports in the Pacific Ocean basin
  • Has the capacity to process 25 million tonnes of cargo annually
  • Ideal if your supply chain involves the movement of goods through Northern Mexico and areas in the Southwestern United States

Owned By: Port Authority of Lazaro Cardenas.

Annual Container Volume: >905,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • The largest port on Mexico’s Gulf Coast
  • Located 300 km from Mexico City
  • Ideal port of origin for suppliers based across Southern and Central Mexico
  • A $1.5 billion upgrade in 2019 significantly expanded the port’s container capacity

Owned By: Administración Portuaria Integral de Veracruz.

Annual Container Volume: >965,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • The largest port in Mexico
  • Situated on the Pacific West Coast in the State of Colima
  • Latin America’s third-biggest ocean cargo hub
  • It’s 353 km by rail to Guadalajara and 300 km by road

Owned By: Hutchison Port Holdings.

Annual Container Volume: >3 million TEUs.


Cargo Ports of Arrival in Brazil


Port Facts:

  • Serves the Eastern Brazilian State of Espirito Santo
  • Situated just west of Vitoria Island in Espirito Santo Bay
  • Easy onward distribution to an urban population of over 1.6 million, including the Bento Ferreira and Gloria districts

Owned By: Companhia Docas do Espírito Santo.

Annual Container Volume: >220,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

Located in the State of Parana The third-biggest port in Brazil for container shipments Involved in a ‘friendly’ annual battle with the Port of Itajai to be the port that’s classed as the chicken export capital of the world

Owned By: Administração dos Portos de Paranaguá e Antonina.

Annual Container Volume: >752,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Situated in Ipojuca, in the State of Pernambuco
  • Has an annual ocean cargo throughput of over five million tonnes
  • Laser-enabled docking system for ultra-fast freight processing
  • Easy onward distribution of goods to Ipojuca, Porto de Galinhas, and Cabo de Santo Agostinho

Owned By: Governor Eraldo Gueiros Industrial Port Complex.

Annual Container Volume: >400,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Brazil’s seventh-largest port
  • Located in All Saints Bay at the peninsula that separates the Atlantic from Todos os Santos Bay
  • Good rail, road, and air connections to inland Brazil
  • Major imports include wheat, grain, chemicals, and malt

Owned By: Companhia das Docas do Estado da Bahia.

Annual Container Volume: >301,000 TEUs.



Port Facts:

  • Located on the Rio Negro in Manaus
  • The key transport hub for the Amazon region
  • Located 1,450 kilometers inland

Owned By: Federal Government of Brazil.

Annual Container Volume: >350,000 TEUs.


Other Destination Ports in Brazil

These are the other ports in Brazil where Shipa Freight can arrange for your goods from Mexico to be discharged:

  • Navegantes
  • Belem
  • Rio Grande do Sul
  • Itajai
  • Haguali
  • Itapoa
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Pecem
  • Santos (São Paulo)

Flying Your Freight: Airport Guide

Airports of Origin in Mexico


Airport Facts:

  • Among Latin America’s top 15 air freight hubs
  • Full name is Monterrey Escobedo International Airport
  • Features two runways and a six-hectare air cargo terminal
  • Processed 52,867 tonnes of air freight in 2018
  • Effective road and rail connections to Northern Mexico

Brazil Airports Served: None.

Monterrey to the Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Mexico City

Airport Facts:

  • Only five kilometers from downtown Mexico City
  • Officially called Benito Juarez International Airport
  • Serves a local population of 20 million people
  • Its two parallel runways are currently operating at 100% capacity
  • Over 580,000 tonnes of air cargo was processed in 2018
  • This air facility is served by 21 cargo airlines

Brazil Airports Served: São Paulo-Guarulhos, Manaus.

Mexico City to the Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: Mas Air, LATAM Cargo Mexico.



Airport Facts:

  • Second-biggest air freight hub in Mexico
  • Located 16 kilometers south of the city center
  • Also known as Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Guadalajara International Airport
  • 7.2 % of all international cargo entering and leaving Mexico is processed here

Brazil Airports Served: Manaus.

Guadalajara to the Brazil Cargo-Only Operators: LATAM Cargo Mexico.


Airports of Arrival in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro

Airport Facts:

  • Also known as Antonio Carlos Jobim/Galeão International Airport
  • The second-biggest air freight hub in Brazil
  • Easy access for suppliers and manufacturers in Mage, Marica, and Copacabana
  • Outstanding pharma handling facilities

Connected Airports in Mexico: None.

Mexico to Rio de Janeiro Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Sao Paulo Viracopos

Airport Facts:

  • Sometimes called São Paulo Campinas Airport
  • Brazil’s second-busiest air freight hub
  • The freight terminal spans a 77,000 square meter site
  • Easy access to the airport from the hinterland thanks to express lanes for courier traffic

Connected Airports in Mexico: None

Mexico to Sao Paulo Viracopos Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Belo Horizonte

Airport Facts:

  • Also known as Tancredo Neves International Airport
  • Located in Confins, Minas Gerais
  • Features a 3,000 meter-long runway
  • Suitable airport of arrival for goods requiring distribution in Jacarepagua, Patrocinio, Caxambu, and Uba

Connected Airports in Mexico: None.

Mexico to Belo Horizonte Cargo-Only Operators: None.



Airport Facts:

  • Officially called Eduardo Gomes International Airport
  • Is the main gateway to the Amazon region
  • Within easy reach of 10% of the Brazilian population
  • Over 175, 000 tonnes of air freight is handled here every year

Connected Airports in Mexico: Mexico City, Guadalajara.

Mexico to Manaus Cargo-Only Operators: LATAM Cargo Mexico, Mas Air.


São Paulo Guarulhos

Airport Facts:

  • Also called Cumbica Airport
  • South America’s biggest freight logistics hub
  • Only 20 km from Sao Paulo city center

Connected Airports in Mexico: Mexico City.

Mexico to Sao Paulo Guarulhos Cargo-Only Operators: None.


Shipa Freight will also arrange for shipments from Mexico to be flown to Curitiba, Salvador, Porto Alegre, and Recife.

Why Ship From Mexico to Brazil With Shipa Freight?

If you’re seeking an easy way to manage ocean and air shipping from Mexico to Brazil, choose Shipa Freight. As a modern freight forwarder with an online-only approach to international shipping, we make moving goods by air or ocean more simple.

Our website gives you one place from which to manage all your shipping. And you get full visibility of every step of every shipment thanks to our tracking technology. Here are some other benefits of trusting Shipa Freight to deliver your commercial goods:

  • Book shipments on the world’s best air and ocean carriers
  • Easy to pay online by card or wire transfer online
  • Our site is powered by Agility Logistics, one of the world’s biggest freight forwarders
  • A friendly customer service team is available 24/7 to deal with your questions or queries
  • Leave the thorny issues of customs and compliance to us to avoid unnecessary shipping delays

Know Your Shipping Terminology

Some of the jargon and complicated terminology used by shipping experts can be confusing. To help build your understanding of the language of shipping, we’re explaining some of the confusing terms in common usage on our country-to-country pages. Two examples are below.

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