Despite the slow Latin American economic growth, and sluggish global container shipping growth rate, APM Terminals (APMT) is continuing with its new deep-water semi-automated Lázaro Cárdenas Terminal 2 (TEC2) project, which represents an overall investment of US$900 million.
The 1.2 million TEU annual throughput capacity added to Mexico’s port infrastructure is anticipated to have an impact on Mexico’s international trade growth.
TEC2 plans to double the quayside to 1,485 metres, increase the number of STS cranes from seven to fifteen, and more than double annual throughput capacity to 4.1 million TEU.
Kim Fejfer, CEO at APMT, said: “Mexico is not only the second-largest economy in Latin America, but also one of the world’s top 15 manufacturing economies, including having become one of the world’s top five car makers, and we feel that investing in Mexico’s continuing economic and trade progress is a sound business strategy.”
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) linked the US, Canadian and Mexican Markets 22 years ago.
Since then, the manufacturing and supply of components designed for Mexican factories for assembly and export to the US has become an increasingly important sector of Mexico's $1.16 trillion economy.
The US is the destination of 78.8% of Mexican exports, and also provides 49.1% of Mexico’s imports, followed by China (16.1%) and Japan (4.5%).
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected the Mexican economy to grow by 2.6% in 2016 and by 2.9% in 2017.
Mexican ports have handled a combined 5.4 million TEU in 2015, reflecting a growth rate of 7% and far outperforming global container market growth of just over 1% for the year.
Throughput at the Port of Lázaro Cárdenas rose by 6% in 2015 to 1.05 million TEU, trailing only Manzanillo, with 2.4 million TEU handled in 2015 and is among Mexico’s busiest container ports.
APMT recently announced that it had installed the most advanced STS cranes at its Lazaro facility.
With the completion of the APMT acquisition of Grup Maritim TCB’s Latin American assets, the APMT global terminal network has added operations in Puerto Progreso, on Mexico’s Gulf Coast.
APMT’s other Latin American operations now include interests in two terminals in Colombia, Peru, Argentina and a further four in Brazil, with new terminal also in development inn Quetzal, Guatemala and Moin, Costa Rica.
Fejfer concluded: “We view the Latin American market, particularly Mexico, as an area of great opportunity.”