Port of Long Beach Looks to Mexican Ports for Maritime Trade
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Port of Long Beach Looks to Mexican Ports for Maritime Trade

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Sofía Hanna By Sofía Hanna | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Tue, 06/06/2023 - 10:26

The saturation of supply chains and the high use of land transportation for goods has caused congestion and delays in certain exports and imports. For that reason, the Port of Long Beach is interested in collaborating with Mexican ports, so a percentage of what is moved by land is moved by sea. 

"We understand that in the Mexican economy, the maquiladoras drive the economy and since we are a major port, we believe we can generate a soft landing. By avoiding impacts on roads, congestion and emissions, ships can be cleaner, safer and even faster," said Noel Hacegaba, Deputy Executive Director and COO, Port of Long Beach, during the meeting of leaders of the National Association of Importers and Exporters of Mexico (ANIERM). 

The port has increased its total trade with Mexico by 4.52% in comparison to last year. Exports rose by 2.60% and imports by 5.87%. The most imported items are passenger vehicles (7.9%), motor vehicle parts (7.3%), commercial vehicles (7.0%), computers (6.1%), oil (4.1%) and insulated cable wire (3.4%), among others. The most common exports were gasoline and other fuels (11%), motor vehicle parts (6.2%), computer chips (3.8%) and other petroleum gases (3.0%), among others.

According to data presented during the meeting, the Port of Long Beach, in 2022, moved 9.13 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), as the COVID-19 pandemic caused an increase in online orders. Cargo operations have been shrinking in 2023. But given the good results and the possibilities seen during quarantines, there is a desire to push for greater maritime movement between the two regions. As part of the efforts being made to be an attractive point of commercial movement, a campus will be built to prepare the next generation of logistics employees. The port is also planning to invest in a Supply Chain Information highway that will allow access to container data in real-time, allowing users to make better decisions regarding cargo. 

The Port of Long Beach was the first port to announce it was going green in 2004. Since then, it has made progress in reducing its carbon footprint and plans to have zero-emission cargo equipment by 2030 and zero-emission trucks by 2035. It recently announced a 400-acre "offshore wind" platform project, through which it will build turbines to generate energy.

"The opportunity today is greater than ever because of the political issues between the US and China. We are seeing manufacturing in Asia moving back to our side. There will always be opportunities for options like rail and truck. Still, if we see congestion and security issues at the border, it is time to offer an option that is beneficial to companies," says Hacegaba.

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