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LAZARO CARDENAS, MEXICO: February 27, 2017. The APM Terminals' facility at Lazaro Cardenas on Mexico's Pacific Coast has officially opened for business with the arrival of the 9,600 TEU-capacity Maersk Salalah on its AC2 Transpacific service from Asia.

The first phase of the US$900 million investment covers 120 acres and includes a quay of 750 meters connected to five rail tracks. On completion between 2027 and 2030, the terminal will have a quay of 1.5 kilometers, an area of 250 acres, a capacity of 4.1 million TEUs, and 10 rail tracks providing intermodal access.

APM Terminals Lazaro Cardenas Mexico"We have a significant portfolio across Latin America and this will be our second terminal in Mexico after Yucatan," commented APM Terminals CEO Morten Engelstoft. "We are pleased to be a contributor in helping Mexico to reach its growth ambitions."

The company said Lazaro Cardenas (right) incorporates semi-automated processes for higher productivity and would help Mexico trade growth by offering a new gateway between the second-largest economy in Latin America and the rest of the world.

"Mexico is a core part of our strategy of investing in growth markets and building state-of-the-art facilities to run more efficiently the supply chain from the heart of Mexico to Asia and the rest of the Americas," explained Jose Rueda, managing director for APM Terminals in Mexico. "The technology in this terminal will bring increased predictability and efficiency to our shipping line customers, whilst ensuring the highest levels of safety for our employees and supply chain partners." he added.

Rueda said his company is in a unique position to facilitate Mexico's trade by combining Lazaro Cardenas's ability to handle the world's largest box ships with inland connectivity at its Cuautitlan Izcalli terminal in Mexico City's industrial zone.

Currently, Mexico handles Latin America's third largest container volume after Brazil and Panama. According to World Bank statistics, in 2014 throughput was 5,273,945 TEU compared to 10,678,564 in Brazil and 7,942,291 in Panama. By comparison, Chile handled 3,742,520 TEU that year, Colombia 3,127,994, Ecuador 1,786,981, and Argentina 1,775,574 TEU.

In a related development, Mexico's Economy secretary Ildefonso Guajardo has said in an interview with Bloomberg News that if the Trump Administration imposes a 20 percent tariff on Ford and GM cars imported into the U.S., his country will break off discussions about the future of NAFTA with the words: "Bye-bye."

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