Vehicle imports have saturated some ports, triggering delays in delivery times and putting Mexico’s infrastructure and logistics to the test. Guillermo Rosales, President, AMDA, warned that the increasing popularity of Asian OEMs, mainly assembled in China, has saturated the country’s main ports, including Manzanillo, Lazaro Cardenas, Guayaquil and others in the Pacific, as well as the Port of Veracruz in the Gulf of Mexico.
“We are facing saturation in vehicle reception, mainly in the Pacific ports. This has delayed delivery times to the final consumer and it is a response to a structural shift where about 70% of all vehicle imports come from Asia," said Rosales.
Out of the 515,433 units sold from January to May, 2023, 62.5% were imported, 18.8% from China. “This has been caused by the rapid recovery of the automotive industry and its increased supply capacity, due to the region's better and faster response in production lines. However, at the same time, it has generated a bottleneck at ports,” explained Rosales.
Mitsubishi Motors Mexico has negotiated with port authorities, suppliers, transporters and operators of the Lazaro Cardenas port in Michoacan, to speed up the logistical processes in vehicle imports from Japan and Thailand. Lazaro Cardenas moves an average of 16,500 units, of which 72% are imports. "In the past month, we have increased our delivery capacity by almost 45% compared to previous months. We are exploring other opportunities in alternative ports like Mazatlan and Acapulco,” said Jorge Vallejo, Director, Mitsubishi Motors Mexico.
Lucien Pinto, Director, Marketing and Sales, Ford Mexico, revealed that the OEM has had issues with logistics and unit transportation in recent months. Meanwhile, Guillermo Díaz, President, Toyota Motor Sales and Lexus Mexico, pointed out that around 50-60% of the company’s units are assembled in Asia and enter through the Pacific. Díaz said that even though the port of Lazaro Cardenas specializes in automotive operations, the company is already analyzing other options on the Pacific coast.
Investment in container yard infrastructure, roads, ship capacity, barges, wagons and railway tracks, as well as transportation, are the main challenges that Mexican ports face. “There has been a delay in new infrastructure investments in Mexico. In Manzanillo, we are initially going to invest MX$4.6 billion (US$268.8 million) in expanding container yards, constructing a new dock and acquiring machinery," said José Antonio Contreras, Director, Contecon Terminal in Manzanillo.