In Mexico, Raúl Murrieta Cummings, the undersecretary for infrastructure at the Transport and Communications Ministry (SCT), has announced investment of more than $153m to increase capacity at the finished vehicles terminal at the port of Lázaro Cárdenas. The investment is part of the state of Michoacán New Plan.

The wider plan involves $3.4 billion in social and infrastructure programmes across the state, part of a long-term plan announced by president Enrique Peña Nieto in February to “establish conditions of social order and spur economic development” across the state.

The investment is needed to keep pace with the growth of vehicle throughput at the port. Last year it increased the number of finished vehicles it handled by 17% to 249,000, of which imports account for than 182,000. That built on an increase in 2012 of 30%.

As revealed in Automotive Logistics' latest report on North American vehicle ports, capacity is a concern in Mexico along with the frequency of shipping services. According to Bob Wilder, vice-president marketing at vehicle processor and logistics provider SSA Marine, the company has bid for a concession to construct and operate what would be the first specialised ro-ro terminal in Mexico at Lázaro Cárdenas.

SSA expects to offer 600 metres of waterfront area, two berths, and 40 hectares of yard space at Lázaro. “The concession is expected to be awarded later this year. In the interim, we are working the ro-ro vessels at the nearby grain terminal facility,” said Wilder.

SSA Marine also provides stevedoring and processing services at Veracruz, and is developing a new port terminal in Tuxpan, about 300km north of Veracruz. On the west coast, besides Lázaro, it operates at the ports of Manzanillo and Acapulco.