The Mexican military has taken the reins of the Port of Lazaro Cardenas, one of the country’s largest container ports, as Mexico attempts to crack down on surrounding drug war activity and the import of precursor chemicals used to make methamphetamine, according to the Associated Press.
Navy personnel on Monday took over administration and port captaincy at the port, and roughly 156 customs and tax inspectors, along with other port officials, will be removed from the ports gradually, the AP story stated.
"We have received anonymous tips that lead us to believe there has been corruption and collusion from people at the port,” federal security spokesman Eduardo Sanchez told AP.
The port has seen an influx of investment years, reflecting Mexican economy growth and further potential. APM Terminals, SSA Marine and Hutchison Port Holding are expanding at the port in the western state of Michoacan. Import traffic at the port last year rose 30.1 percent, placing Lazaro Cardenas behind Prince Rupert as the second-fastest-growing container port for inbound traffic in 2012, according to PIERS data.
With its direct rail link to the border operated by Kansas City Southern de Mexico, Lazaro Cardenas could become a gateway for U.S. imports moving by intermodal rail to the Southwest and Midwest. However, very little Asian cargo has moved into the U.S. through Lazaro Cardenas so far.