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Port of Ensenada flexes its muscles and looks to take volume from Californian ports

PortandTerminal.com, March 27, 2019

The port of Ensenada, Mexico is flexing its muscles and looking to lure cargo away from the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex located just 200 miles to the north. Amid double-digit volume growth, the port is investing $100 million to expand its container handling capacity the JOC reported on Monday.

The port of Ensenada

The port of Ensenada is a deepwater port on the western coast of the Baja California region. It is the fifth largest port in Mexico and is the closest of the country’s ports to the United States. Ensenada is strategically located to highways that offer direct connections to the cities of Tijuana, Tecate, and Mexicali, which are major US border crossings.

The Port of Ensenada is located just 200 miles away from the Los Angeles – Long Beach port complex

The port is also located to nearby to a manufacturing sector that includes plants operated by Samsung, Sony, Hyundai, Ford, and LG.

Ensenada handled 194,491 loaded TEU in 2018, an 18 percent increase from the previous year, according to the Mexican Secretariat of Communications and Transportation, which oversees Mexican ports. Imports grew by 28.8 percent, and exports rose by 5.3 percent, figures show, capping off a five-year run in which the port’s total loaded cargo volume has grown by 125 percent. In fairness though, off of a very low base.

Investment

Photo: Hutchison Group

Hutchison Group’s Ensenada International Terminal (EIT), the port’s only container terminal, last month received two new super post-Panamax cranes as part of an upgrade that will increase the facility’s container storage area, more than double the length of its 1,000-foot dock, and boost the terminal’s annual handling capacity from 300,000 TEU to 400,000 TEU.

EIT has undergone extensive redevelopment involving quay construction, dredging and new equipment purchases.

EIT can handle ships with a capacity of more than 10,000 TEU. It intends to expand its volumes by attracting shippers that use Long Beach and Los Angeles. Most of Ensenada’s eight services connect with Asia, and the relative ease of getting cargo out of the port should also help lure business, Hutchison said in a statement.

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