As the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex becomes increasingly congested, Mexico’s Port of Ensenada just south of the border is winning new cargo traffic bound for Mexican factories.

Port of Ensenada

The Ensenada International Terminal is a growing enterprise with a 39% jump in volume year-over-year for 2015. Also in 2015, annual container volume was at 196,000 20-foot equivalent units – more than 60% higher than 2010. Ensenada competes with the port at San Pedro Bay, and is expected to continue growing at rates near 10% over the next few years, fueled primarily by recent interest by Asian markets. In addition to the US providers shipping via Ensenada, the port also services Asia with three trans-Pacific services that connect Ensenada with:

  • Chiwan, China
  • Ningbo-Zhoushan, China
  • Shanghai, China
  • Qingdao, China
  • Hong Kong
  • Busan, South Korea
  • Kaohsiung, Taiwan,
  • Yokohama, Japan

The port has a current berth of 1,000 feet, but upcoming expansion plans will more than double this. The port can currently handle ships with capacities of up to 11,000 TEUs, but will soon expand its turning basin from 450 meters to 550 meters in order to handle ships up to 12,000 TEUs. Ensenada boasts one super post-Panamax crane, two Panamax cranes, and one mobile crane. The expansion includes plans to swap one Panamax crane for another post-Panamax crane. They hope to boost annual capacity from 300,000 TEUs to as much as 600,000 TEUs.

Recent Growth

Over the US border, just 200 miles north of the Port of Ensenada, the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex is attracting such high volumes lately that the port has grown cumbersome and congested. Recently, several companies have turned to the Mexican port for shipping their high-tech goods, textiles, and auto parts to Mexican factories.

As it turns out, the port is very fast. Shipping from Los Angeles and Long Beach to Tijuana, for example, typically takes 2-3 days. But shipping from Ensenada to Tijuana is usually same-day. Expedited shipments can be moved off the ship and out of the truck terminal gates in under three hours. And the average truck turnaround time is 45 minutes, which may sound about average, except for the fact that these trucks are dropping off and picking up double loads (two containers at a time). Additionally, the port is implementing a strategy to reduce this average even further to 33 minutes.

Some of the major companies currently utilizing this expedited option at the Port of Ensenada are:

  • Samsung
  • Sony
  • Hyundai,
  • LG
  • SunPower
  • Ford
  • Toyota

View the source article for this post at the Journal of Commerce.