After a five year hiatus in activity, Mexico’s southwestern port of Mazatlan is ready to assume the role as a major Mexican automotive logistics hub for Asian automotive OEM, Nissan and others.

Last week, for the first time in a half a decade, the Port of Mazatlan participated in the international trade in passenger vehicles. During the first week in October, the resurgent Mexican automotive logistics hub received nine hundred and forty-two imported vehicles from Nissan Japan, loaded them on Ferromex railcars and sent them to the Nissan plant in Aguascalientes for distribution to their final destinations. In order to be able to successfully complete the transaction posterior to a five year pause in such activity, the Port of Mazatlan took measures that made it a competitive commercial port when compared to Lazaro Cardenas, which is port on the West Coast of Mexico that is located four hundred and fifty-two miles to the south of Mazatlan Mexican Pacific coast state of Colima.

Mazatlan makes an automotive logistics comeback

In the plans to re-establish Mazatlan as a Mexican automotive logistics hub, initial plans are to import three thousand Nissan passenger vehicles annually, as well as to subsequently deliver them to the OEM’s Aguascalientes facilities by Ferromex rail for subsequent distribution to their designated markets. During the second stage in the plan to reinvigorate Mazatlan as a Mexican automotive logistics hub, it is projected that Nissan Aguascalientes will ship one hundred thousand units from the Pacific port to international markets on a yearly basis. In addition to Nissan, other major automotive OEMs are considering utilizing the Port of Mazatlan as a major point of shipping, as well. Prior to the five year hiatus in shipping of automobiles from Mazatlan that has taken place in recent years, Chrysler, Honda and GM also utilized the port as a major automotive logistics hub. On a yearly basis, these three automotive assemblers transited a combined fifty four thousand vehicles through the port.

The Port can connect the West Coast with Eastern Seabord US Markets

Officials at the Port of Mazatlan see the facility as a shoe to become a major Mexican automotive logistics hub for Nissan and other major automotive OEMs. The highway connections that exist between the Port and Matamoros constitute the shortest and most economical route by which to connect Asian producers with their markets on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Although other major automotive OEMs will play a role in making the port of Mazatlan a major Mexican automotive logistics hubs, experts agree that the predominant driver of this trend is Nissan. The major Japanese automotive manufacturer has already contributed US $2 billion in foreign direct investment to Mexico’s auto industry in the present year. To date, 25,091 Nissan passenger vehicle units
have been imported into and distributed in the North American market through the Port of Mazatlan. Another 295,110 vehicles have been exported from the facility to date.

In order to be able to handle the ascendency of the Port of Mazatlan as a major Mexican automotive logistics hub, a project that will continue through 2018 has been set in motion to achieve its modernization. The sum of investment into Port upgrades has been set at a total of US $813 million.  Betterments are to include an overall reorganization of port configuration, as well as the construction of a new breakwater and channel and turning basin dredging.