Mariano Levy
General Manager
View from the Top

Safe Hands for Port Services

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 18:14

Q: How has Altamarítima developed its business in Mexico?

A: Altamarítima belongs to Grupo Trafimar, a shipping group with two major areas of work: agency and mobility. Altamarítima, Tierra MarAire and Norton Lilly Shipping Mexico are focused on the agency side and collectively employ around 130 people. The company has over 35 years of experience in the Mexican market and operates out of ports in Manzanillo, Lazaro Cardenas, Progreso, Ciudad del Carmen and Tampico. We also have an office in Mexico City.

As an agent, Altamarítima’s work is more related to liner and tram services. For our liner services we operate as agents for Hyundai Merchant Marine, ZIM Lines and CMACGM, while our tram services are focused on the import of gasoline and export of crude oil. We have over 1,000 calls a year, both at the ports we work in and those we do not. When calls come into ports where our teams are not present, we utilize our network of associate companies, which for the most part are local. Altamarítima attends roughly 300 tanker vessels. One of our closest clients is PEMEX’s PMI Comercio Internacional, though not all cargo necessarily relates to oil and gas. However, through this business, we have established a working relationship with the country’s largest oil company. More recently, we have begun to look toward oil and gas. Altamarítima also has an office in Ciudad del Carmen that deals mainly with this sector of the business. Our partner company in the US, SeaHawk, also generates business in the port.

Q: How does Grupo Trafimar leverage the collective strength of its members to attract clients in-country?

A: Grupo Trafimar is related to Lilly Norton International, headquartered in the US, and our fellow group member, SeaHawk, is also a major player in the US shipping industry. Both allies offer the services of Altamarítima for the Mexican side of their business and the three companies complement each other’s services. For some clients, we may provide port services through Altamarítima while SEIS activity and customer service is provided through one of the other two companies. For example, in 2018, we worked on a major project for AllSeas in Matamoros carrying out meet-and-greets for incoming vessels. We also have an ongoing relationship with Boskalis and are negotiating a contract to deliver agency services to the company at all Mexican ports.

Q: What services characterize Altamarítima’s role in Mexico’s oil and gas market?

A: Altamarítima does not own any assets in Mexico at the moment. This is a strategic choice that has delivered great results in the last five years. We focus on providing services, including crew change, customs and vessel meet and greets. These are the weekly services we provide to major international companies like Boskalis Offshore and Maersk. Companies like these will request a service or product and we can coordinate the shipment and arrival units directly to them. We oversee the vessel coordination and logistics. This allows these larger companies to work with a reliable partner and forgo the difficulties of setting up their own logistics services. The size of the in-country competition, with major players like Marinsa being a direct competitor, and international operators generally having worldwide contracts mean Altamarítima must appraise its approach in Mexico for the time being. The oil and gas business line is the smallest we manage so we focus on strengthening the business when opportunities arise.

Q: What are Altamarítima’s short-term goals in the oil and gas market?

A: Our purpose is to grow our presence in Mexico through the addition of clients. We have met with clients in Houston and traveled to China in November 2019. At the beginning of 2020, the company will be attending to potential clients in Europe. We expect that these meetings will be fruitful and our oil and gas activity will grow. Our focus and strategy for the short-term is to develop activity rather than invest in assets.

Altamarítima is a Grupo Trafimar company that delivers consignee, agency and port services to national and international companies. Established in 1983, Altamarítima provides representation to the Hyundai Merchant Marine line in Mexico.