The Challenge for the Next Mexican Government to Re-Launch Maritime Cabotage

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Exchange of Goods Between Terminals in the Country Fell by 9% This Year.

To take full advantage of the installed capacity of the national port system and promote the renaissance of the merchant marine, the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador will face the challenge of deregulating and promoting maritime cabotage, which in a first step would generate more than 25,000 direct jobs.

The delegate in the south of Tamaulipas of the United Front of Merchant Marines, Guillermo Parra Avello, said that hope is reborn with the new government, since for almost three decades the federation has turned its back on the national Merchant Navy, which today is only composed of a few Mexican companies, forcing the graduates of nautical schools to emigrate abroad to obtain work.

“Outside the Campeche Sound and oil activities, Mexican sailors do not have employment opportunities in their country and have to search abroad, mainly the coasts of Africa or in the Persian Gulf, where they go on their own and risk, by obtaining contracts of two or three months and without social security, “he explained.

From the governments of Vicente Fox, the Mexican Merchant Navy has been in decline, remains without development and the cabotage trade practically does not exist, there are very few ships dedicated to the white cargo, because in the ports the law submits them to the same legal and fiscal procedures as the importers and exporters, Parra said.

The naval officer mentioned that if the policy were changed to ports and if maritime transport was promoted, it would be cheaper to move cargoes than trailers, generating great savings for the country, by reducing the destruction of connectivity and indexes. of accidents.

He exemplified that a cargo truck can only transport one container, while through a merchant ship one thousand can be moved, then there would be a reduction in the transportation of products and raw materials.

If the policy were changed to that activity, the graduates of the three merchant marine schools would have jobs in their own country and would not have to wait more than a year to complete their internships, waiting to be allowed to board foreign ships, detailed

Cabotage falls in Mexico

In turn, the Mexican Chamber of the Maritime Transport Industry (Cameintran) indicated that in recent years the exchange of goods between the terminals of the country has been going down.

Between January and August of 2018, the load reached 37,464,000 tons, 9% less than in the same period of a year before, when 41 million 158 thousand tons were mobilized.

The union said that also the high cost of port services are an obstacle to this type of services, but if the government undertook strategies to facilitate the transport of Mexican goods there would be a better use of the ports, including Tampico, which is located underutilized.

The Challenge for the Next Mexican Government to Re-Launch Maritime Cabotage

That organization considered it incredible that in Mexico there are no port facilities that facilitate this activity, nor are there spaces to mobilize Mexican cargo without customs regulations, international health and taxes.

The Cameitran said that port traffic between Mexican ports is reduced by 44%, which demands the need to promote competition within and between national ports.

He recalled that the national maritime sector adds 1% of GDP, is generating more than 300,000 direct and indirect jobs and the opening of cabotage would reduce the recession that the union faces for more than three years.

Port of Tampico

In turn, the head of navigation of the port of Tampico, Captain Armando Méndez Reyes, said that, for lack of oil contracts, more than 60 boats remain stranded in the Pánuco River, awaiting the reactivation of the oil sector.

He said that, although there were twice as many ships, some have obtained temporary work contracts and have left the port, but then return, maintaining minimal maintenance operations.

 

 

Source: Mundo Maritimo