Contecon Manzanillo handles record rail volume


Contecon Manzanillo S.A. de C.V. (CMSA), a key player in Mexico’s port industry and a subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), set a record in January by handling 20,400 TEUs of rail cargo – a 68 percent increase compared to the same month in 2023 and the highest rail throughput in Manzanillo.

“The increased use of rail to receive and dispatch cargo is key for us. We started a growth plan together with customers and FERROMEX in 2021, which allowed us to gradually increase service volumes and reliability. Last January, we were able to move 23 percent of import cargo by rail and set a record for CMSA and the Port of Manzanillo,” explained José Antonio Contreras, CMSA chief executive officer.

Last year, CMSA and CMA CGM launched the first block train service from the Second Specialized Container Terminal (TEC-II) at the Port of Manzanillo to Valle de Mexico. The service subsequently included Monterrey to the rotation, linking the terminal to the two main consumption and production hubs in the country.

This year, CMSA will commence the expansion of its 2.2-kilometer rail tracks and acquire new loading and unloading equipment to increase its rail capacity by more than 100 percent.

“In addition to the investment we are currently making in our container yards and docks, we are going to start the expansion of our railways in the coming months. Our goal is to double our rail volume by 2025 and take advantage of the resulting logistical and environment benefits,” said Mr. Contreras.

By promoting container movement via rail, CMSA aims to provide customers and port users a logistical, efficient and competitive alternative for the long distances between the Pacific Coast and the major consumption and production hubs like the State of Mexico, Nuevo León, San Luis de Potosí, and Querétaro, which receive a significant portion of imports from Asia that enter Mexico through Manzanillo.

The increase in rail freight helps to reduce the daily flow of trucks in the municipality of Manzanillo, reducing road congestion, improving sustainability, and supporting the future growth of the terminal. 

Promoting the movement of cargo via rail in Manzanillo not only benefits the terminal and supply chain stakeholders; it also promotes economic growth and development of the region and the country as whole.