Ports Sector in Mexico

Mexico’s privileged geographical situation has allowed the country to develop a logistical network within the territory. Mexican ports have been one of the most important elements for development, as well as a key component for the nation’s exports growth. As of 2008, the Mexican ports system has been ranked third in Latin America, with a growth of 8.2%.

Market overview

Under the National Infrastructure Programme 2007-2012, an estimated US$6 billion is being devoted to develop projects in the ports sector.

President Calderon’s key objective is to develop Mexico into a logistics platform, competitive on a global basis, by using the country’s geographic and commercial advantages. The main goals are:

  • To build four new ports.

  • To expand or upgrade 22 existing ports.

  • To build ten cruise docks.

  • To increase available container terminal capacity from 4 to 7.2 million TEUs.

  • To increase the productivity rate of operations in specialised container terminals from 68 to 75 containers per hour.

Key opportunities

According to Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transport, important investments will be made in the following ports:

  • Guaymas Expansion:

  • Building of 3-hectare facility to handle and store up to 400,000 tons of copper and copper-related material each year.

  • 6 hectare fluid terminal to handle and store one million tons per year.

  • Mineral bulk terminal to handle two million tons a year.

Lazaro Cardenas Car Terminal: To be built in 36 hectares, the project is to be privately funded and will consist of:

  • Two docks with a total length of 600 meters each.

  • Storage facilities for cars and spare parts.

  • Loading and unloading patios with intermodal facilities.

  • Paved patios to unload cars.

  1. Veracruz Port Expansion: with an expected investment of US$3,360 million, the 782 hectare expansion is planned to be divided into two phases, and it will have 45 new docks.

Opportunity areas include:

  • Cargo and operations security.

  • Construction and maintenance of basic infrastructure (quays, breakwaters, dredging, primary roads, railway tracks).

  • Services (cargo handling, mooring, storage, towage).

Latest export opportunities in the Ports sector

Latest export opportunities – Mexico

Getting into the market

We encourage British companies to approach well in advance the local authorities that are in charge of projects, since very frequently the time between a tender’s launch and the required proposal submission date is extremely short. Approaching them beforehand is desirable to have an insight of what they need and ask for. It is important to build relationships in the market, so that key local players and decision makers will be aware of your expertise and keep you in mind when forming bidding consortia. In many instances, UK companies choose to partner with local counterparts, benefiting from their business know-how.

More about doing business in Mexico


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits through our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

Contact your local international trade team

UKTI Events

UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Latest events in the Ports sector

Major Events

Annual Mexican Ports and Terminals Operators Association Summit

Date and venue: TBC

Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Sectors: Ports & Logistics
Countries: Mexico
Export Action Plan