Facility Expansion: Lázaro Cárdenas

Leaders of Mexico and Denmark Dedicate Ultra-Modern Lázaro Cárdenas Container Terminal

Maersk vessel Container ship approaching the new Lázaro Cárdenas new container terminal
Photo/API de Lázaro Cárdenas

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto joined Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen of Denmark on April 4 in Puerto Lazaro Cardenas for the inauguration of one of the Western Hemisphere’s most technologically-advanced container terminals.

With annual throughput capacity of 1.2 million TEUs, APM Terminals Lázaro Cárdenas can accommodate the world’s largest container ships and represents an investment of more than US$900 million.

It is the second container handling facility in what is already Mexico’s second largest container port. The first, Lázaro Cárdenas Terminal Portuaria de Contenedores (LCTPC), opened in 2003 and is operated by Hutchison Ports under a long-term agreement with the port authority, API de Lazaro Cardenas.

The ceremony marked the official opening of the deep-water terminal, whose throughput is slated to grow to more than 4.0 million TEUs by 2030.

APM Terminals is part of A.P. Møller-Maersk, the Copenhagen-based logistical giant whose holdings also include Maersk Line, the world’s largest ocean container carrier. The Lázaro Cárdenas terminal, which is the company’s second Mexican venture, after APM Terminals Yucatán in Progreso.

"We are working hard to make this terminal as efficient as possible for customers," said APM Terminals Chief Commercial Officer Henrik Lundgaard Pedersen. "Thanks to its semi-automated processes, APM Terminals Lázaro Cárdenas will offer faster turnaround times per container as well as faster intermodal transportation via its superior on-dock rail connection. The terminal’s strong geographic position on the coast and its connection with our inland terminal at Cuautitlan Izcalli in the industrial zone of Mexico City, ensures our customers have easy access to inland distribution centers and a consumer market of over 120 million people."

The terminal received its first official vessel call with the February 27 docking of the 9,600 TEU Maersk Salalah, on the Maersk AC2 Transpacific service from Asia.  APM says the terminal performed 30 percent above expectations in terms of container turnaround times in March and is expected to improve operational efficiencies per container by 20 percent.

"The technology in this terminal will bring increased predictability and efficiency to our shipping line customers, while ensuring the highest levels of safety for our employees and supply chain partners, contributing to Mexico’s trade and growth stories as well as long-term competitiveness," said the managing director for APM Terminals in Mexico, Jose Rueda.

With the first phase of the terminal complete, APM Terminals Lázaro Cárdenas covers 49 hectares/121 acres and is served by a 750-meter/2,461-foot long quay and berth depth of 16.5 meters/54/1 feet – long and deep enough to accommodate the latest generation of Ultra-Large Container Ships. The terminal is equipped with five intermodal rail tracks and offers automated gate services.

Mexico handled nearly 5.7 million TEUs in 2016, behind only Brazil and Panama in Latin American port container traffic volume. Lázaro Cárdenas is Mexico’s second largest container port, after Manzanillo, with throughput in 2016 of more than 1.1 million TEUs.

APM Terminals Lázaro Cárdenas – a different perspective
Photo/API de Lázaro Cárdenas