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Nearshoring Boosts Container Arrivals at Mexico's Port of Manzanillo

In recent years, a remarkable shift in manufacturing dynamics has been reshaping the global trade landscape. It's a trend known as nearshoring, and its impact is being felt at one of Mexico's most significant ports - Manzanillo. According to Forbes México, this phenomenon has led to a staggering 50% surge in container arrivals carrying semi-finished products from Asia. Let's delve into what nearshoring means for Manzanillo and Mexico's trade industry.

The Nearshoring Effect

Nearshoring is the process of relocating manufacturing plants from distant locations, such as China, to closer destinations like Mexico. The goal is to streamline supply chains, reduce lead times, and enhance flexibility. As a result, Manzanillo, strategically located on Mexico's Pacific coast, has become a focal point for this transformation.

Container Traffic on the Rise

One of the most tangible effects of nearshoring is the substantial increase in container arrivals at the Port of Manzanillo. These containers are laden with semi-finished products destined for Mexico's maquiladora industry, the automotive sector, and the retail market.

In fact, the data reveals that container arrivals have surged by over 50% in the past two years alone. This remarkable growth underscores the port's pivotal role in handling the influx of goods generated by nearshoring.

A Shift in Trade Patterns

To comprehend the full impact of nearshoring, we must look beyond Manzanillo's success. Import data from other ports tells an intriguing story. Ports like Long Beach and Los Angeles have witnessed nearly 20% declines in imports during 2023. In stark contrast, the Port of Manzanillo has seen imports from Asia grow by more than 6%.

This shift signifies that products are no longer entering the U.S. market through traditional West Coast ports. Instead, they are being redirected to Mexico for transformation before heading to the United States through the northern border.

Manzanillo's Distinct Advantage

Among Mexico's ports, Manzanillo stands out as the lone Pacific Ocean port experiencing growth. While other ports, including Lázaro Cárdenas, have seen declines in cargo imports, Manzanillo's robust performance is testament to its strategic significance.

A staggering 70% of imports from Asian countries enter Mexico through Manzanillo. These imports cater to both consumption in Mexico and the dynamic maquiladora industry.

Contributing to the Economy

Notably, the Port of Manzanillo plays a pivotal role in the region's economy. It currently generates over 35,000 direct and indirect jobs, operating tirelessly, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The Key Players

Major retailers like Walmart and Costco are among the prominent importers of finished products. They source inputs from Asia for sale in the Mexican market. Additionally, the automotive sector has witnessed a surge in the importation of finished products, including vehicles and auto parts, to support Mexico's thriving automotive industry.

Moreover, the importation of consumer goods like electronics from Asia has been on the rise, with these products being sold directly in the Mexican market.

Asia's Dominance

Approximately 90% of the merchandise entering the Port of Manzanillo originates from Asian countries, including China, South Korea, and Vietnam. Additionally, during the South American fruit season, the port also handles shipments from this region.

Looking Ahead

In conclusion, Manzanillo's thriving port serves as a barometer of nearshoring's influence on global trade dynamics. It showcases Mexico's pivotal role in the nearshoring trend, underscoring the significance of strategic location and efficient logistics.

Credit: Forbes México

As we continue to witness the evolution of global trade, it's clear that Manzanillo and Mexico as a whole are positioned for growth and transformation, driven by the forces of nearshoring. This shift not only impacts trade but also contributes to the economic development of the region.

Stay tuned as we explore more trends and insights shaping the world of trade and commerce right here at Lumex Trade.

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