High costs of maritime transport will remain in 2021: Comce

The high costs of maritime transport will remain in North America throughout 2021, with a downward trend in 2022, projected Fernando Ruiz Huarte, general director of the Mexican Council for Foreign Trade (Comce).

According to him, the cost of transporting a container from Asia to Mexico soared from $ 4,000 to $ 8,000 in the current year and, in some cases, up to $ 9,000.

During 2020, the amount of cargo transported through Mexican seaports totaled 267 million tons, a decrease of 12% compared to 2019.

«There was a very big rebound in maritime transport and due to pandemic issues there were many containers that stayed in different ports, among others the North American ports,» Ruiz Huarte said at a press conference.

Therefore, value chains were affected by both higher costs and delayed logistics.

“Little by little, maritime transport is being regularized and we think that this year it will continue more or less in the same current conditions; But starting next year, a reduction in the costs of container movement can begin,” he added.

Maritime transport

During 2019, the government of Mexico announced a plan to expand the Port of Manzanillo in the Cuyutlán Lagoon, which will include the construction of four new terminals and, to protect the city and the environment, the construction of five water retention dams at Punta de Arroyo and the modernization of a water treatment plant.

Then, on December 12, 2020, the government announced that the expansion of the port will include connections with the Port of Cuyutlán through a tunnel, viaducts and highways, as well as a customs office, an outer port and two cargo terminals per road, maritime and land.

The total estimated cost for the construction of the two terminals, including the complementary works, is 22,425 million pesos.

“In the Port of Manzanillo, due to a rapid growth in transportation, the stay of the containers was also affected and also the stay of the containers that were arriving from imports to Mexico, and we had up to 15 days the containers in Mexican ports,” said Ruiz Huarte.

This is due to the fact that there was some saturation in the operations of the terminals that handle containers.

But Ruiz Huerta said that this is being solved, because corrective measures have already been taken at the container terminals.