Mexico’s first marine terminal specializing in shipping vehicles will begin operating during the first quarter of next year in Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán.
Covering 43 hectares and boasting a wharf 530 meters long, the roll-on, roll-off TEA (specialized automotive terminal) has cost US $50 million to build. Once it is fully operational, half a million vehicles are expected to be shipped through it every year.
Intended for both imports and exports, the terminal has capacity for 450,000 vehicles and room to expand to handle 760,000.
Having a terminal dedicated only to the handling of vehicles will cut down on damage that has resulted from sharing terminal space with general cargo, which is often corrosive in nature, said Claudia Sánchez, spokeswoman for SSA México, the port’s operator.
Building the facility has not been without its challenges.
The story begins in 2012 when SSA México won the tender to build it. But construction was delayed after other bidders immediately challenged the process and litigation continued until last year.
The concession to operate the terminal was finally signed last spring, and Sánchez said all legal hurdles have been overcome.
Along with its Lázaro Cárdenas terminal, SSA México operates cargo and tourist marine facilities in six other port cities: Acapulco, Manzanillo, Progreso, Tuxpan, Veracruz, and Cozumel.