Mexico - Country Commercial Guide
Transportation Infrastructure Equipment and Services

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-09-02

The wide-ranging category of equipment and services for transportation infrastructure is a best prospect industry sector for Mexico. This section includes an overview of several key dimensions of this sector, together with selected trade data.

Overview

Mexico’s USD 1.3 trillion economy makes it the second largest economy in Latin America and the 15th-largest economy in the world. This makes its infrastructure plans an important consideration for any U.S. engineering or construction supply firm.

The following table provides the most recent statistics for transportation infrastructure equipment and services in Mexico:

Mexico Transportation Infrastructure Equipment and Services Market Overview
(Figures in USD Billions)

 

 

2017

2018

2019

2020 (Estimated)

Total Local Production

6.25

6.15

5.80

5.44

Total Exports

1.08

1.28

2.24

1.68

Total Imports

1.91

2.27

1.80

1.23

Imports from the U.S.

0.89

1.12

0.92

0.59

Total Market Size*

7.07

7.14

5.36

4.99

Exchange Rates

18.91

19.23

19.26

20.00

*Total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports
Sources: National Institute of Statistics and Geography of Mexico (INEGI), National Survey of Construction Companies (ENEC), Secretariat of Economy, System of Customs Information Via Internet (SIAVI)

Infrastructure has been a priority for the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) since taking office in December 2018. The announcement of the Construction and Modernization Program (CMP) 2018-2024 included four priority projects worth over USD 20 billion:

  • A re-envisioned airport system for the greater Mexico City metropolitan area and surrounding states
  • Development of a multi-modal cargo corridor across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec
  • A passenger and cargo “Maya Train” on the Yucatán Peninsula
  • The construction of a new refinery in Dos Bocas, Tabasco

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic saw the Mexican economy contract by 8.5 percent in 2020. Still, the Mexican Government has committed to move ahead with infrastructure projects, not only to increase the quality, scope, and coverage of national infrastructure, but to trigger economic activity and generate employment. On October 5, 2020, the first round of an Economic Reactivation Agreement was announced, featuring 39 projects worth an estimated USD 13.8 billion in sectors such as roads and highways, energy (hydrocarbons), railways, ports, water, and the environment. Less than two months later (on November 30) a second round of 29 projects worth USD 10.5 billion was launched, while a third round of projects is expected to be announced in 2021. An important feature in all these projects is that at least 50 percent of the financing comes from the private sector.

It should be noted that the government’s plan to develop transportation infrastructure places a major emphasis on the states of southern Mexico, particularly Tabasco (the president’s home state), Chiapas, and the Yucatán Peninsula states of Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Yucatán. Three of the four strategic infrastructure projects currently being developed (Dos Bocas Refinery, Tren Maya, and Trans-Isthmus Corridor) are all in that region. Furthermore, a new set of 36 projects worth US 3.5 billion was also presented in February 2021 by the Mexican Confederation of Industrial Chambers (CONCAMIN) and the members of Pacto Oaxaca, a collaboration agreement signed between nine states of south-southeast Mexico and local business leaders to bolster regional development, enhance prosperity, and curb migration. The projects include initiatives in the water, airports, highways, railways, maritime, ports, energy, industrial parks, and real estate subsectors.

Construction and Modernization Program

Economic Reactivation Agreement

Economic Recovery Infrastructure Projects

Pacto Oaxaca Strategic Agenda for South-Southeast Mexico

Economic Recovery Infrastructure Projects

2018-2024

(First Round)

(Second Round)

 

(Third Round)

Announced August 2018

Announced October 5, 2020

Announced November 30, 2020

Announced March 2021

Expected 1st semester 2021

20+ Bn USD Investment

13.8 Bn USD Investment*

10.5 BN USD Investment*

3.5 BN USD Investment

TBD

13 Infrastructure Projects:
-Airport
 -Railway
-Multimodal Transportation
 -Energy (Refineries)
 -Rural Roads
-Telecomms                          
-Earthquake reconstruction
 -Urban development
 -Public Universities
 -Fertilizing plants
 -Northern Free Trade Zone
 -Hydroelectric plants                                                                  

39 Projects:                                        -27 Roads & Highways                         -5 Energy (Hydrocarbons)                                    -3 Railways                                       -2 Ports                                     -1 Environment                              -1 Water

29 Projects:                                  -16 Roads & Highways                               -7 Energy (Electricity)                               -2 Energy (Hydrocarbons)                           -2 Water                                        -1 Logistics                                     -1 Ports

36 Projects:
 -15 Highways
 -1 Water
 -1 Airport
 -4 Railway
 -2 Maritime
 -4 Ports
 -1 Gas
 -1 Tech Park
 -5 Industrial Parks
 -1 Real Estate/Urbanization
 -1 Livestock

TBD

Includes: Maya Train, Trans-Isthmus Corridor, Dos Bocas Refinery and new airport system for greater Mexico City metropolitan area

Includes: Mexico-Queretaro Train, Expansion/modernization of Progreso Port, Light Train Garcia-Monterrey Airport

Includes: TMEC/USMCA Corridor

Includes: Salina Cruz-Tapachula Gas Pipeline, Rail branch connecting Seybaplaya (Campeche) with Tren Maya

TBD

Primarily public funds

*At least 50% financing from private sector

 

In collaboration with private sector

TBD

The scope and timelines of all these initiatives are quite ambitious. Many of these projects will require major investment or financing from the private sector in order to be accomplished.

For more details on these projects, please also see our sections on construction, energy, oil and gas, and environmental technologies.

Leading Sub-Sectors

AirportsBelow is an overview of leading transportation infrastructure sub-sectors in airports, ports, rail, and roads.

As highlighted in the Aerospace portion of this report, there are several airport expansion projects underway, which were originally initiated prior to the current Administration taking office, being overseen by the Mexican Secretariat of Defense (Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional or SEDENA) and private concessionaire airport groups.

Mexico City Airports

Mexico City does not have enough runways and terminal capacity to support aviation demand for the metropolitan region of more than 23 million residents. Mexico City airport projects are run by the Mexico City Airport Group (Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de Mexico or GACM), which operates as a concession with government participation.

In 2019, AICM served 50.3 million passengers, with an increase of 5.4 percent versus 2018. The airport managed 458,703 commercial and general aviation flights in 2018 and 224,967 operations in the first five months of 2019 (which would be more than 500,000 if annualized). AICM reached a record number of operations per day on December 14, 2018, with a total of 1,279 flight operations.

President López Obrador cancelled construction of a New International Airport for Mexico City (NAIM) in Texcoco, just east of the current airport. He then instructed his team to pursue a three-fold strategy to develop an “Airport System for the Valley of Mexico” based on a paper produced by an engineer named José María Riobóo Martín. This paper was the basis for a new airport plan called the Metropolitan Airport System (Sistema Aeroportuario Metropolitano or SAM) that the Mexican government announced in November 2019. The system includes the construction of the new international Felipe Angeles International Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Felipe Ángeles or AIFA).

  • Felipe Angeles International Airport. The first element of the plan is for SEDENA and its Engineers Group to build two commercial runways, one military runway, a commercial passenger terminal, and a control tower at the Santa Lucia military airport located in the municipality of Zumpango, State of Mexico. The Santa Lucia airport is located around 45 kilometers north of AICM. Brigadier General Gustavo Ricardo Vallejo Suárez, Director of SEDENA-AIFA Engineers Grouping, explained their plans for the Santa Lucia Base to reach 190,000 takeoff and landing operations per year in conjunction with the other two airports (Toluca and AICM). SEDENA will design and build the new commercial section of the airport using pre-fabricated and modular construction materials, with a budget of USD 4.1 billion. The airport will have PBN navigation systems and a total of three runways (original plus two) with an initial capacity of 20 million passengers, with potential to expand to 80 million passengers, and even up to 120 million in the long-term. SEDENA is planning an intermodal transportation passenger station, which will include light rail, bus lines, and an underground metro station. They envision a dedicated 46-kilometer ground interconnection to AICM that would require 35 minutes transit time to make flight connections. The airport will have one fuel terminal, 30 gates (with expansion potential to 60 gates), a control tower, and a parking structure for 4,000 vehicles. Key technical agencies are Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transporte or SCT), traffic control (SENEAM), which is also responsible of the airport aerial space re-design based on a study prepared by the firm Navblue (Airbus), the Mexican equivalent to the FAA called AFAC (formerly DGAC), Airports and Auxiliary Services (ASA), the Secretariat of the Finance and Public Credit (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público or SHCP), the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales or SEMARNAT), and territorial status and urban development (SEDATU). As of March 2021, General Vallejo informed the media that the project had reached 50 percent completion and 47.3 percent of its planned investment had been executed. He also confirmed that the AIFA will be completed in March 2022. One of the main challenges to meeting this deadline is the interconnectivity program that will include an extension from the highway “Circuito Exterior Mexiquense” Lecheria-AIFA, new lines of the Mexibus and Inter-urban new train system, various highway improvements (Pachuca-AFA), and completing of other medium-size roads around the airport zone.
  • AICM Terminal 3 and Other Improvements. GACM was directed to construct a third Terminal Building (T3) at AICM using the current land used for the presidential hangar. The project would not expand runway capacity for departures and arrivals. This project was suspended in June 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent drop in demand for flights, but, if it moves forward, it would expand the number of gates at AICM. As shown in preliminary plans, T3 would be connected to the current Terminal 2 (T2). GACM/AICM have renovated AICM facilities to the extent possible and have completed repairs to the current runways. Among the AICM renovations are improved runway drainage systems and electricity network, rehabilitation of runway B, remodeled sewage services, upgraded takeoff and landing navigation systems, and engineering improvements to address subsidence under the T2 building.
  • Toluca International Airport. The Toluca International Airport (AIT) will expand its services, though how this develops remains somewhat unclear. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is on record opposing expansion of Toluca service due to the economics of serving this smaller, high altitude airport. As part of the SAM, the Mexican Government was considering the idea of acquiring total ownership of the AIT and confirmed investments to improve ground connectivity with the highways Mexico-Toluca and the connection roads Chamapa-La Venta in the State of Mexico.

The airspace for the Valley of Mexico, which encompasses AICM, Toluca, and the future AIFA, was modernized in March 2021 to increase flight capacity for the SAM. Although there have been legal challenges to the new system, SCT and SENEAM continue with the new system and are confident the litigation will be dismissed. 

Due to the extremely fluid nature of these projects, potential U.S. suppliers are strongly urged to contact the U.S. Commercial Service in Mexico for updated information and assistance with bidding.

Other Airports

The entire Mexican airport network transported 104.7 million passengers in 2019, up from 97.4 million passengers in 2018. From 2013–2018, the number of passengers transported grew by 58.2 percent overall, an annual average of 9.6 percent. The most recent five years represented the highest growth rates over the past 25 years. This growth reflects both passenger demand and the growth in carriers serving Mexico. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the deep drop in air transport for Mexico, and worldwide, significantly impacted growth in 2020.

Mexico’s airports are managed by four regional airport groups, plus a fifth group running small federal airports. In addition to GACM, they are Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte (OMA), Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP), Grupo Aeroportuarios del Sureste (ASUR), and Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares (ASA). These airport groups are further described in our Aerospace section. Each had a series of modernization projects that were put on hold in 2020 until the sector recovers.

One of the most relevant changes in the Mexican airport network, has been the active participation of SEDENA as a main builder and management entity. This is the case not only for the new AIFA, but also for a planned airport in Tulum and for the Chetumal Airport, which has been part of the ASA network. At the end of 2020, President López Obrador announced that SEDENA will manage these three airports, and that the revenue generated will be dedicated to improving armed forces retired officers’ finances.

Ports

There are 102 ports along Mexico’s 7,145-mile coastline and 15 out-of-port terminals. The Mexican port system has 24 Integrated Port Authorities, known as APIs (Administración Portuario Integral) that operate more than 40 cargo and passenger ports on the country’s Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf Coasts. Of these, there are 16 international commercial cargo and passenger ports in the federal system. On the Gulf Coast, these ports are Altamira, Tampico, Tuxpan, Veracruz, Coatzacoalcos, Dos Bocas, and Progreso. On the Pacific Coast, they are Ensenada, Guaymas, Topolobampo, Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Lázaro Cárdenas, Salina Cruz, and Puerto Chiapas (also known as Puerto Madero). In July 2020, President López Obrador announced that SEMAR would take over the management and customs facilities at Mexican federal ports

Mexico’s ports experienced a wave of growth during the prior administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto. In 2012, port cargo volumes were 260 million tons. By 2018 SCT’s Ports and Merchant Marine Administration reported that this had increased to 317 million tons. While these figures decreased significantly in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (267 million tons), the projections for 2021 indicate that Mexican exports will grow by 8 percent this year—bolstered by economic recovery in the United States and other parts of the world like Asia—which will have a direct impact in the volume of cargo handled in Mexican ports.  

In July 2020, SCT announced its Sectoral Communications and Transportation Program 2020-2024, derived from the National Development Plan for 2019-2024 (Plan Nacional de Desarrollo or PND) put forward by President López Obrador. Among its priority objectives, the program calls for consolidating the port network to bolster regional development, establishing industrial nodes and production centers around the ports, and improving connectivity to strengthen the regional market.

SIPCOs. To achieve the above-mentioned objectives, the Mexican Federal Port Coordination Administration has announced the creation of five Intermodal Port Coastal Systems, or SIPCOs, grouping together the ports managed by the APIs according to their location and commercial vocation to promote regional economic development and mitigate migration pressures. The SIPCOs will promote investment in industrial parks, logistic platforms, energy plants, and inland ports.

The five regions will be:

  • Northwest (Ensenada, Guaymas, Topolobampo, and Mazatlán)
  • Northeast (Altamira and Tampico)
  • Central (Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Lázaro Cárdenas, Tuxpan, and Veracruz)
  • Southeast (Coatzacoalcos, Dos Bocas, Salina Cruz, and Puerto Madero)
  • Peninsular (Progreso).

Shipyards. In June 2019, the Federal Ports Coordinator announced plans to modernize Mexican shipyards to improve the country’s ship construction and maintenance capacity. Out of 17 existing shipyards in Mexico (12 private, 4 owned by the Navy, and one owned by PEMEX) only four—Ensenada, Mazatlán, Veracruz, and Tampico—are regularly utilized. One of the projects announced as part of the Economic Reactivation Agreement announced in October 2020 is the expansion and modernization of the port of Progreso in Yucatán, which includes construction of a shipyard facility.

Key Port Projects and Initiative

Ports of Coatzacoalcos and Salina Cruz. These ports are destined for significant improvements as part of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec Interoceanic Multimodal Corridor/Trans-Isthmus Corridor. See below for more details on this multi-model project.

Port of Veracruz. In June 2018, a USD 1.6 billion project was completed that increased the port’s installed capacity from 24 million tons/year to 66 million tons/year. There are still ongoing works to complement the port’s expansion (including a new USD 120 million semi-specialized terminal to handle general cargo and containers, and a new USD 42 million agribulk specialized terminal). There are also plans for a second expansion phase that would quadruple capacity to reach 95 million tons/year by 2030.

Port of Progreso. In the Port of Progreso, a USD 200 million expansion and modernization project is being undertaken to complete port infrastructure and roadway improvements. These include dredging works, construction of a new natural gas terminal, a new pier, cruise terminal enhancement, and construction of a highway overpass, as well as a new shipyard.

Port of Altamira. A recent expansion has increased installed capacity from 15 million tons to 41 million. Furthermore, plans to build a new USD 200 million manufacturing plant of heavy materials for export—part of the 2nd package of economic recovery projects announced in November 2020—are expected to significantly increase the port’s activity.

Port of Lázaro Cárdenas. In 2018, Lázaro Cárdenas finished construction of a container and multi-use terminal and completed two projects to increase the installed capacity from 27 million tons to 47 million. In 2021, the federal government approved a USD 23 million budget to conduct a series of refurbishment works, including modernization of access roads, dredging works, and construction of a new dock.

Other Ports. Announced in 2020, the USMCA Corridor project includes the construction of a new industrial and container port (SI-PORT) in the town of Dimas, Sinaloa. The port will connect with the city of Durango through 220 miles of railway, serving the central and northeastern United States as part of a trade corridor that will also link to logistics centers in Winnipeg, Canada. The port will have a draft of 18 meters and a 2-kilometer extension. Other ports with improvement projects underway include the Port of Cozumel (where a new USD 24 million cruise dock is being constructed), Port of Seybaplaya (construction of a new navigation channel) and Port Carmen (construction of new navigation channel). For the Port of Manzanillo (second largest port in Mexico), there are also plans to increase capacity in what is currently a heavily saturated port.

The Isthmus of Tehuantepec–Trans-Isthmus Interoceanic Multimodal Corridor (CIIT)

The Isthmus of Tehuantepec is the narrowest portion of Mexico and of North America overall, separating the Pacific Ocean from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Spanish efforts to make this an interoceanic trade route date to the early 19th Century, and a rail line across the Isthmus operated profitably between 1907 and the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914. The López Obrador Administration intends to make the Trans-Isthmus route competitive with the Canal, thereby boosting regional economic growth in the states of Oaxaca and Veracruz.

The Trans-Isthmus project will create a modernized and upgraded Interoceanic Multimodal Corridor that will provide an alternative to the Canal for northbound and Post-Panamax shipping. As part of this project, the Mexican Government seeks to modernize the railroad of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec; expand cargo handling and storage capacity at the ports of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, and Salina Cruz, Oaxaca; expand the trans-isthmus highway from two to four lanes; improve the airports at Minatitlán and Ixtepec; establish a fiber optic telecommunications connection and cellular/data connectivity; and construct a gas pipeline for commercial and private use. Alongside the route between both oceans, 10 development poles will be created to attract private sector investment. As part of this program, the 76 Oaxaca and Veracruz municipalities involved will lower their value-added tax (VAT) and income tax rates, in addition to offering petroleum at reduced prices.

To manage the project, the López Obrador Administration created a new independent federal agency called the Isthmus of Tehuantepec Interoceanic Corridor (Corredor Interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec or CIIT). CIIT manages all aspects of project design, coordination, and contracting. To ensure coordination across all aspects of the project, the administration of the two federal ports, Coatzacoalcos and Salina Cruz, has been moved to CIIT. Although CIIT is an independent agency, it is part of SHCP.

In March 2021, President López Obrador announced that SEMAR—along with the state governments of Veracruz, Oaxaca, Tabasco, and Chiapas—will be responsible for managing this corridor upon completion of the project.

Rail

Mexico has a freight railway system owned by the national government and operated by various entities under concessions (charters) granted by the national government. The railway system provides freight and passenger service throughout the country (though most of the service is freight-oriented). The network connects major industrial centers with ports and with rail connections at the U.S. border.

Mexico is experiencing a freight rail revival after the privatization of the sector in the mid-1990s. Although railroads have played an increasingly larger role in the transportation sector, their participation in Mexican cargo movement remains relatively low. According to SCT and the Secretariat of Economy (Secretaría de Economía or SE), of the more than 980 million tons of goods that were transported across Mexico in 2019, 56 percent was moved by trucks, 13 percent by rail, 30.9 percent by boat, and 0.1 percent by air.

Based on the figures presented by the Railroad Transport Regulatory Agency, in 2019*, 125.2 million tons were moved by train in Mexico (an increase of five percent compared to 2018). The same year, Mexican railways moved 88.3 million tons connected with foreign trade shipments. Sixty six million tons (75 percent) corresponded to imports moving through the border crossings of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas (21.2 million tons) and Piedras Negras, Coahuila (11.9 million tons), as well as the port of Veracruz (7.4 million tons), while the remaining 22.3 million tons (25 percent) corresponded to exports, 71.3 percent of which moved through land border crossings.

The Mexican railway network include 26,914 kilometers (16,724 miles) of track; 17,440 km (74.31%) are part of the main concessioned railway, 4,474 km (19.06%) are part of the secondary railway, 1,555 km (6.62%) are privately owned, and 3,445 km are not currently being used. The Mexican Government wants to generate the conditions and incentives necessary to increase the participation of rail in the land transportation market. A broader interest is to develop the railroad industry in Mexico for both cargo and passenger transportation.

Mexico’s rail system is comprised of nine concessionaires: Kansas City Southern de Mexico (KCSM), Mexican Railroads (Ferrocarril Mexicano or Ferromex), Ferrosur, Terminal and Railroads of the Valley of Mexico (Ferrocarril y Terminal del Valle de México or Ferrovalle), Línea Coahuila-Durango (LCD), Gobierno del Estado de Baja California-Administradora de la vía corta Tijuana-Tecate (ADMICARGA), Gobierno del Estado de Puebla (Tren Turístico Puebla-Cholula), Ferrocarril del Istmo de Tehuantepec (FIT), and Suburban Railroad (Ferrocarril Suburbano).

In February 2021, some of the largest concessionaires announced a combined investment of between USD 520 and 530 million. Half of these resources will be used for maintenance works of locomotives and infrastructure, with the other half destined for growth projects in key regions, particularly in the northern part of Mexico. To expand cargo capacity, rail companies have reinforced the tracks and adopted double stack rail. There are only five countries where double stack is used to improve cargo capacity: Mexico, the United States, Canada, Panama, and Australia.

Mexico’s rail cargo improvements coincide with the expansion of Mexico’s foreign trade. One big driver of trade growth is the automotive industry (currently trains move seven out of 10 cars produced in the country, while a decade ago it was only three out of 10). Expansion of the oil and gas sector is a major emerging driver. Rail is already the main means of transporting fuels, cereals, minerals, and metals. The top four product sectors by volume are industrial (48.2%), agricultural (27.1%), and mineral (11.6%).

A standard freight measure is the metric ton-kilometer (tkm), which measures not only volume, but also the distance the cargo moves. In 2019, Mexican rail lines moved 89.05 billion tkms, 1.2 percent higher than 2018.

Passenger rail, though limited, has had growing interest due to a combination of major projects and smaller tourist- or commuter-oriented initiatives.

*Note: The figures provided above are from the 2019 Railway Statistics Yearbook, produced by the Railroad Transport Regulatory Agency (ARTF). While official numbers for 2020 are still unavailable, it is estimated that there was a reduction of 3.8 percent in the tonnage of merchandise transported by rail due to the pandemic. However, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is expected to play a fundamental role in reactivating the logistics and supply chains in the North American region in 2021, with its impact being directly felt in the freight rail industry.

According to international consultancy Deloitte, the Mexican government currently has 21 railway projects worth an estimated 23 billion USD in different stages of development (long-term initiatives, pre-investment, process of analysis, authorization, and construction).

Of particular interest are the following projects:

  • Railway construction and modernization as part of the CIIT project on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, with a length of 215 kilometers and intended to connect the Pacific and Gulf coasts.
  • “Maya Train”. This signature project is a 1,500 kilometer (1,000 mile) mixed use (passenger and cargo) rail line that will cross five states in Mexico’s Southeast. It will connect Palenque in Chiapas with a route circling the Yucatán Peninsula and connecting Escárcega and Campeche City in Campeche with the Yucatán cities of Mérida and Valladolid, and onward to the Quintana Roo cities of Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Chetumal, before connecting back across the Peninsula through the region’s largest Mayan archeological site, called Calakmul.

Construction works officially began on June 1, 2020, with the rail line divided into the following segments:

    • Section 1—Palenque to Escárcega, 142 miles—awarded to a consortium composed of Mota Engil (Portugal) and China Communications LTD (China).
    • Section 2—Escárcega to Calkini, 146 miles—awarded to CICSA (one of Carlos Slim’s companies) and FCC (Spain).
    • Section 3—Calkini to Izamal, 107 miles—awarded to Construcciones Urales/Grupo Azvi and Gami Ingeniería y Construcciones (part of Grupo Indi).
    • Section 4—Izamal to Cancún, 160 miles—awarded to Mexican contractor Ingenieros Civiles Asociados (ICA).
    • Section 5 North—Cancún-Playa del Carmen, 31 miles—assigned to SEDENA.
    • Section 5 South—Playa del Carmen to Tulum, 38 miles—awarded to Grupo México/Acciona.
    • Section 6—Tulum to Bacalar, 158 miles—assigned to SEDENA.
    • Section 7—Bacalar to Escárcega, 178 miles—assigned to SEDENA.
  • A major effort is underway to finish the 57.7 km standard-gauge interurban line from Toluca to Mexico City. The line will carry 230,000 passengers a day with a 39-minute trip between Zinacantepec and an interchange with Mexico City Metro Line 1 at the Observatorio Metro station.

Rail Projects announced as part of the Economic Recovery Agreement in 2020:

  • Proposal for a Mexico City–Querétaro mixed-use train, which revisits what was previously planned to be a high-speed rail project for this route. Passenger rail service is planned for this 250 km Mexico City–Querétaro run.
  • Suburban Rail branch line (23 km) connecting the existing station at Lechería to the AIFA in the State of Mexico.
  • Rail corridor García-Monterrey International Airport. This project consists of repurposing 62 km of rail lines (originally used exclusively for cargo) for a mixed-use (passenger and cargo) operation, connecting the municipality of García with Monterrey International Airport.

Rail Projects announced as part of Pacto Oaxaca:

  • A 27 km rail branch connecting the port of Seybaplaya (Campeche) with the Tren Maya.
  • Passenger train connecting Tapachula with the Puerto Chiapas International Airport would refurbish 40.5 km of rail line that is currently not being used.
  • Construction of a new logistics Center at Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas, which would entail the refurbishment of the Chiapas-Mayab rail line (severely damaged by Hurricane Stan in 2005).
  • An 81 km cargo rail line connecting the Chontalpa region (northwest Tabasco) with the port of Dos Bocas (where the new refinery is being built)
  • Finally, approved by the President’s Office is the USMCA/TMEC Corridor, which will include the refurbishment of 167 km of rail line and the additional construction of 180km to connect the new port (SI-PORT) in the town of Dimas with the City of Durango.

Roads

Among the priority objectives of the SCT’s Communications and Transportation Sectoral Program 2020-2024 is the construction, modernization, and maintenance of road infrastructure that is accessible, safe, efficient, and sustainable, thereby contributing to Mexico’s regional and intermodal development.  

In that context, a large portion of the projects that were announced as part of the 2020 Economic Reactivation Agreement in October (70%) and November (55%) are road/highway related. Furthermore, 15 projects that were launched by Pacto Oaxaca in early 2021 are also focused on roads. Among the largest initiatives (based on required investment) are the Naucalpan-Ecatepec Highway (State of Mexico), the Monterrey Macrobypass/Autopista Interserrana (Nuevo León), Connectivity Roadworks for the new Felipe Angeles International Airport (Mexico City and State of Mexico), the Zaragoza Elevated Viaduct (Mexico City), and the Tuxpan-Ozuluama section of the Tuxpan-Tampico Highway (Veracruz).

Opportunities

The U.S. Commercial Service Mexico is happy to assist you in exploring opportunities in transportation infrastructure in Mexico. The COVID-19 pandemic and Mexico’s economic downturn continue to pose challenges for timely initiation or completion of infrastructure projects. However, below are a few highlights.

Logistics

Opportunities abound for specialized logistics service providers or cold chain service providers (i.e., those that transport, warehouse, and handle time and temperature-sensitive products). As firms that require these products proliferate throughout Mexico, they require a dependable and efficient supply chain. U.S. logistics firms that currently offer specialized supply chain services are well-positioned to take advantage of this niche market.

Additionally, most transportation entities are looking for the best technologies to improve their services, increase customer satisfaction, assure cargo security, and promote an efficient transportation system that supports Mexico’s competitiveness in a global economy. Even with a weak peso and low government revenues, these trends have resulted in an important demand for all kinds of equipment and services that can help increase the efficiency of the transportation and logistical sector in Mexico.

Ports

Products and services with the best prospects in the Mexican ports sub-sector include container cranes, heavy materials handling equipment, environmentally-friendly waste management systems, security systems, IT services, design and construction services, dredging, and many other products and services involved in port operations.

Rail

Domestic production in this sub-sector consists of low-tech equipment (e.g., open and closed freight cars and rail track fixtures). It is important to note that all high-capacity cranes, railroad, and lifting equipment are imported. Under the USMCA, most equipment for intermodal transportation manufactured in the United States can be imported duty-free.

Products with the best prospects in the Mexican rail sub-sector include frame, mobile, and rotary-cranes; self-propelled cranes on tires; front loaders with a capacity of over seven tons; mobile platforms; diesel electric locomotives; railway maintenance service vehicles; rail and tramway freight cars; automatic unloading wagons; covered and closed cars; steel rails, and assemblies for railway vehicles, containers, chassis, and trailers. Other products that have been identified based on the strategic projects being developed include rail laying and maintenance equipment, aluminothermic and electric welding solutions, and signaling systems.

Roads

Domestic production in this sub-sector consists of low-tech equipment (i.e., front loaders and unsophisticated traffic control systems) and the manufacture of trucks and trailers. Top brands manufactured in Mexico include Cummins, Detroit Diesel Allison, Freightliner, Daimler, Mack Trucks de México, International-Navistar, Dina Camiones, Scania, Volvo Group VW, Man Truck & Bus Mercedes-Benz, Hino Motors, Izusu Motors, and Kenworth Mexicana. These are primarily produced for export. Conversely, all high-capacity crane equipment is imported. Under USMCA, most equipment for intermodal transportation manufactured in the United States can be imported duty-free.

Products with the best prospects in the Mexican roads sub-sector include mobile and rotary-cranes, self-propelled cranes on tires, front loaders with a capacity of over seven tons, mobile platforms, and traffic control equipment.

Airports

Please see the Aerospace section of this report for more information.

Resources

  • Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT)
  • Secretariat of Economy (SE)
  • Association of Mexican Railways (AMF)
  • Rail Transportation Regulatory Agency (ARTF)
  • Inter-American Port Commission, Organization of American States (OAS)
  • National Association of Private Transportation (ANTP)
  • National Cargo Transportation Chamber of Commerce (CANACAR)

Events

For aerospace and aviation-related events, please see the Aerospace section of this report.

There are no major tradeshows covering road, rail, or seaport infrastructure in Mexico, though there are, at times, various government and industry association conferences on these topics throughout the year. The U.S. Commercial Service in Mexico also organizes delegations covering various aspects of the sector, including site visits (or recently, on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual missions). Please contact us for more information on these opportunities.

Contacts

For more information on the transportation infrastructure equipment and services sector in Mexico, please contact:

Diana León

Commercial Specialist, Transportation Infrastructure and Deal Teams

U.S. Commercial Service—Mexico City

Diana.Leon@trade.gov

 

Juan Carlos Ruíz

Commercial Specialist, Construction

U.S. Commercial Service—Mexico City

JuanCarlos.Ruiz@trade.gov

 

Silvia I. Cárdenas

Commercial Specialist, Airports and Aerospace

U.S. Commercial Service—Mexico City

Silvia.Cardenas@trade.gov