Purpose – Trade and transport facilitation is a challenging area for international logistics and supply chains. A major problem in the area is the lack of a specific framework to support measurement and analyses of performance aspects concerning border-crossing operations. The purpose of this study was to develop a framework for the area comprising strategic performance objectives of operations. Design/methodology/approach – The framework derived from a theoretical and empirical basis. The empirical method involved a Delphi study with 11 experts with recognised knowledge in the area of international logistics and supply chain. The framework was validated through a substantive validity test conducted in a pilot study with 20 managers from organisations operating in a major international seaport overseas. Findings – The study developed a framework structured by critical operations performance factors operationalised in terms of trade and transport facilitation aspects. Research limitations/implications – The framework was pre-tested in a specific context in Brazil. Its construct validity and reliability require further testing and refinement. Practical implications – The framework provides reference for the definition of priorities and targeted initiatives in specific areas of trade and transport operations at border-crossing levels. The initiatives can be aligned with relevant strategic performance objectives of operations in general. Originality/value – The theoretical, empirical, and practical issues addressed in the research provide an insightful basis for future research and managerial initiatives. The framework defined in the study offers robust measures that allow academics and practitioners to understand and address critical aspects inherent in the operational dimension of trade and transport facilitation.