For Tijuana manufacturing to thrive, it requires reliable and improved port facilities.
On June 1, Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto, led the annual celebration of the country’s Navy Day in Ensenada, Baja California. During the course of his remarks, the Mexican president commented upon the strength of the State’s manufactured export sector, as well as the growing role that the Port of Ensenada will assume in support of Tijuana manufacturing and export sales in the near future.
Also present at the event was Lic. Federico Serrano Banñuelos. Serrano-Bañuelos is the current president of the Tijuana branch of the National Association of Maquiladoras that is commonly known by its Spanish acronym, INDEX. Bañuelos presented information that supported comments that were made by Peña Nieto. He communicated to those in attendance that in the year-over-year period from February 2014 to the same month of the current year. Tijuana manufacturing had expanded by 7.3%, and that those gains in export industry activity resulted in the creation of more than 270,000 manufacturing jobs. Within the Tijuana and Baja California region manufacturing sector, he noted that the industries that are of leading importance include:
- Medical Devices
- Metal Fabrication
The Long Beach shutdown has adversely affected Tijuana Manufacturing
The President of Mexico took advantage of this year’s Navy Day to comment upon how recent events will result in the greater use of the Port of Ensenada in support of Tijuana manufacturing and import-export activities.
According to Peña-Nieto, the Tijuana manufacturing sector has been adversely affected by the prolonged striking that has recently occurred at California’s Long Beach port facility. This labor disruption has not only had a negative impact upon Baja California manufacturers ability to receive raw materials, components and other material inputs for their production, but has also hindered the timely export of finished product to end users. In order to diminish the dependence of the Tijuana manufacturing sector on the Long Beach port, Mexico will implement investment plans to boost capacity at the Port of Ensenada.
Improvements are in the process of being made
According to sources in the Mexican press, container handling capacity at Ensenada will increase over the course of 2015 from 280,000 to 500,000 units. Also, important is the fact that, in addition to container handling capabilities, other important improvements will be made to the Port over the course of the present year. These include:
- the expansion of public container storage patios from approximately 75,000 square feet to 130,000 square feet;
- the modernization of the infrastructure that provides access to the portion of the port in which commercial shipping containers are handled;
- the dredging of the Port’s navigation canals to increase their depth from almost fifty-five feet to sixty-feet so that they can accommodate larger vessels.
In terms of the volume of goods processed and moved, the Port of Ensenada ranked fifth in Mexico in 2014. It is expected that as investments in capacity, and other important infrastructure come on-line, the facility will move up in importance on the national level.
The Baja California port supports Tijuana manufacturing by enabling companies to conduct import and export activities with countries such as China, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Jamaica, Japan, Nicaragua, Panama, Russia, the United States, Venezuela and others.