Mexican container shipping faces a wealth of uncertainty as it enters 2019 — including the impact of a new president, a new trade deal with the US, and a tight trucking market — but it is unlikely to unravel the sector’s underlying strength.
Loaded cargo handled by the ports increased 8 percent year over year to 4.2 million TEU in the first 10 months of 2018, according to the Mexican Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT). That easily outpaced the 4.2 percent volume increase in the US and followed a nearly 12 percent year-over-year cargo increase through Mexican ports in full year 2017.
The port system’s ability to handle rising cargo volumes will get a boost in June with the expected opening of the first phase of the expansion of the containerized cargo capability at the port of Veracruz. The expansion is the most prominent project in the $5 billion package of improvements to Mexico’s 117 ports that was designed to position the country as a major transportation hub in the region, driven by the country’s fast-growing manufacturing sector, especially the dozen-plus auto plants that now dot the country.
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