Kansas City Southern carried 700 U.S.-bound containers from Mexico’s Port of Lazaro Cardenas during August and expects volume on the route to continue to grow, a KCS executive said.
August’s U.S.-bound volume through Lazaro Cardenas is the highest monthly total yet, said Michael W. Upchurch, the railroad’s chief financial officer and executive vice president. Almost all of the Pacific Coast port’s container traffic is to and from points within Mexico.
By The Numbers: U.S. Surface Trade With Mexico.
KCS has been promoting the north-south route from Lazaro Cardenas into Texas and the U.S. Midwest since the opening last year of a rail link between Victoria and Rosenberg, Texas, that improved intermodal access to the Houston area.
Upchurch said lower labor costs and the absence of environmental fees at Lazaro Cardenas save importers 15 to 20 percent compared with shipments via U.S. West Coast ports. He noted that the port has plans to more than double its current capacity to 1.5 million to 2 million TEUs.
“We are very bullish on that port, not only for intra-Mexico traffic but to extend that border,” Upchurch said at Dahlman Rose & Co.’s global transportation conference. “I think we are going to continue to increase traffic into the U.S.”
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