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: 2022-09-23

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.


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:

Table: Mexico Transportation Infrastructure Equipment and Services Market Overview

(Figures in USD Billions)






2021 (Estimated)

Total Local Production





Total Exports





Total Imports





Imports from the U.S.





Total Market Size*





Exchange Rates





*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 and grow only 5 percent in 2021. 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) the second round of 29 projects worth USD 10.5 billion was launched, while a third round of projects is expected to be announced before the end of 2022. 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, an additional 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.

Table: Proposed Transportation Infrastructure Projects

Construction and Modernization Program

Economic Reactivation Agreement

Economic Recovery Infrastructure Projects

Pacto Oaxaca Strategic Agenda for South-Southeast Mexico

Economic Recovery Infrastructure Projects


(First Round)

(Second Round)


(Third Round)

Announced August 2018

Announced October 5, 2020

Announced November 30, 2020

Announced March 2021

Expected 2nd semester 2022

20+ Bn USD Investment

13.8 Bn USD Investment*

10.5 BN USD Investment*

3.5 BN USD Investment


13 Infrastructure Projects:
-Multimodal Transportation
 -Energy (Refineries)
 -Rural Roads
-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


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


Primarily public funds

*At least 50% financing from private sector

*At least 50% financing from private sector

In collaboration with private sector



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

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


As highlighted in the Aerospace portion of this report, several airport expansion projects are underway. Some began before the current Administration took office. Others are under the supervision of the Mexican Secretariat of Defense (Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional or SEDENA) and private airport concessions. The country’s current network consists of 77 airports. Sixty-five of them are international.

Mexico City Airports

Mexico City does not have enough runways and terminal capacity to support aviation demand for a metropolitan region of more than 23 million residents. The Mexico City Airport Group (Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de Mexico or GACM) manages the Mexico City airport project under a concession from the government.

In 2020, AICM served 21.9 million passengers (domestic and international), while in 2022, it had 36 million. Figures show an evident recovery in passenger traffic that supported an annual growth of 64 percent. However, in 2019, AICM supported 50.3 million passengers.  The airport managed 239,367 commercial and general aviation flights, and in 2022 operations reached 327,889, showing an advance of 37 percent.  AICM achieved a record number of daily operations on December 14, 2018, with a total of 1,279 flight operations.

President López Obrador canceled the 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) together with Toluca International airport and the current AICM in Mexico City.

Felipe Angeles International Airport. The first element of the plan is for SEDENA and its General Directorate of Engineers 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 sits 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). In the last two years, SEDENA built AIFA, with an original budget of USD 4.1 billion. Recent research has indicated that the total cost was much more than the USD 3.75 billion budgeted by the federal government, and its total cost was USD 4.2 billion. On March 21, 2022, President Lopez Obrador inaugurated AIFA, and today four airlines are using the airport: Volaris, Viva Aerobus, Aeromexico, and Coviansa (Venezuela). Some of them have readjusted flight itineraries as the airport demand has been low. Accessibility and an effective aerial space plan are among AIFA’s challenges.  Many SENEAM’s air traffic controllers require more training and additional resources to avoid potential safety incidents. The AIFA airport has a PBN navigation system and three runways (original plus two) with an initial capacity of 20 million passengers. It can expand to 80 million passengers and even up to 120 million long-term. SEDENA and the State of Mexico authorities are 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 of transit time to make flight connections. An extension from the highway “Circuito Exterior Mexiquense” Lecheria-AIFA, new lines of the Mexibus and Inter-urban train system, various highway improvements (Pachuca-AFA), and the completion of other medium-size roads around the airport zone will increase accessibility.  Once fully completed, AIFA 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 involved in AIFA’s construction are: the Secretariat of Infrastructure, Communications, and Transportation (Secretaría de Infraestructura, Comunicaciones y Transportes or SICT), the traffic control team (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), and the Secretariat of the Finance and Public Credit (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público or SHCP).. In addition, on October 15, 2021, the government created a private entity - Aeropuerto Internacional Felipe Angeles, S.A. de C.V. -  as a majority state-owned company with a concession to exploit AIFA for 50 years..  SEDENA was AIFA’s builder/designer and the operating concessioned entity. AICM Terminal 3 and Other Improvements.

The Secretary of Communication and Transport (SICT) directed GACM to construct a third Terminal Building (T3) at AICM on land currently used for the presidential hangar. On April 2022, SICT announced that the project was canceled and that instead, SICT will make remodeling works at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. AICM’s salty, sinking soil conditions cause damage throughout the airport area. Among the AICM renovations (end of 2021), the airport is improving runway drainage systems and electricity network, rehabilitation of runway B, remodeling sewage services, upgrading takeoff and landing navigation systems, and engineering improvements to address subsidence under the T2 building. However, the construction of Terminal 3 is not totally out of consideration, some media statements indicate a slight possibility for its future approval.

  • Toluca International Airport. The Toluca International Airport (AIT) will expand its services, but how this develops remains unclear. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has opposed the expansion of Toluca services due to the economics of operating this smaller, high-altitude airport. As part of the SAM, the Mexican Government considered acquiring total ownership of the AIT. It confirmed investments to improve ground connectivity with the Mexico-Toluca highway and the Champa-La Venta connecting road in the State of Mexico. The pandemic delayed the project but did not cause its abandonment.

The airspace for the Valley of Mexico, which encompasses AICM, Toluca, and 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. They are confident that no further aerial incidents will occur during the following months, as some aviation organizations recently reported in the media.

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

Other Airports

The Mexican airport network transported 80.3 million passengers in 2021, up from 48.3 million passengers in 2020. From 2013–2018, the number of passengers transported grew by 58.2 percent overall, with an annual average of 9.6 percent. 2017 - 2021 represented the highest growth rates over the past 25 years. This growth reflects both passenger demand and the increase in carriers serving Mexico.

Five large regional airport groups manage Mexico’s airports: GACM, Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte (OMA), Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP), Grupo Aeroportuarios del Sureste (ASUR), and Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares (ASA). Detailed descriptions of these airport groups are in our Aerospace section. Due to the pandemic, each had a series of modernization projects put on hold in 2020, while other airport projects advanced slowly.

One of the most relevant changes in the Mexican airport network, has been the active participation of SEDENA as a leading builder and management entity. SEDENA now manages the new AIFA, the planned airport in Tulum and the Chetumal Airport, which were part of the ASA network before. At the end of 2020, President López Obrador announced that SEDENA will manage these three airports, and that the revenue would be dedicated to improve armed forces retired officers’ pensions.

SEDENA’s General Directorate of Engineers oversees The Tulum airport, at Felipe Carrillo Puerto municipality in Quintana Roo. Environmental studies started in 2021, and the planned completion date for the airport was December 2023. The deadline has now been moved one month, to November 2023. The Tulum airport will share runways with an already existing military airbase.  

Estimates show that by May 2024, four million passengers will use the new Tulum airport. It will have a total cost of USD 49.2 million, and an operational life of 31 years. SEDENA announced that Tulum airport would resist up to Category 5 hurricanes. It will have a runway of 3.5 kilometers in length and commercial, cargo, and general aviation functions. The new Tulum airport will connect with the Maya Train (5, 6 and 7 sections), and SEDENA will create a new company to manage the concession. As part of this plan for the Maya Riviera, the airports of Chetumal and Palenque (part of ASA’s network) will have expansion works and be transferred to SEDENA  too, once the Tulum airport is completed.


There are 102 ports along Mexico’s 7,145-mile coastline and 15 out-of-port terminals. Of these, there are 16 international commercial cargo and passenger ports in the federal system whose planning, development, and use is managed by National Port System Administrations (ASIPONAS)—formerly known as Integral Port Administrations, or APIs. In July 2020, President López Obrador announced that SEMAR would take over the management and customs facilities at Mexican federal ports, consequently, ASIPONAS reports to SEMAR’s General Coordination of Ports and Merchant Marine (CGPMM).  On the Gulf Coast, these ports include 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).

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), volumes have steadily increased over the past year, with 286 million tons of cargo moved at Mexican ports in 2021.  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. There is also an appetite to explore short sea shipping routes to use existing port infrastructure capacity to its fullest. These objectives are now being taken forward by SEMAR.

SIPCOs. To achieve some of the above-mentioned goals, the General Coordination of Ports and Merchant Marine (CGPMM), announced in 2019 the creation of five Intermodal Port Coastal Systems, or SIPCOs, grouping together the ports managed by the ASIPONAs (then called 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 are:

  • 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 the 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 multimodal project.

Port of Veracruz. In 2019, a USD 1.6 billion project was completed that increased the port’s installed cargo 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. This project is to be developed with private funding.

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). In Manzanillo, private port operator Contecon announced a USD 230 million investment to expand its container terminal facilities and further improve its infrastructure. 

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. 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 is working 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/industrial parks are being created to attract private sector investment. As part of this program, a set of fiscal incentives will be offered to private companies interested in establishing a presence in the area, although details of these incentives have not been officially announced yet.

To manage the project (including aspects such as project design, coordination and contracting), the López Obrador Administration created an independent federal agency called the Isthmus of Tehuantepec Interoceanic Corridor (Corredor Interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec or CIIT). To ensure coordination across all aspects of the project, the administration of the federal ports of Coatzacoalcos and Salina Cruz, was moved to CIIT. However, in March 2022, the administration of these two federal ports was moved from CIIT to SEMAR following an announcement by President López Obrador. Reports state that CIIT itself will move under SEMAR’s jurisdiction in December 2022.


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 total volume of goods that are transported across Mexico, 56 percent is 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 2021, 129.8 million tons were moved by train in Mexico (an increase of 7.9 percent compared to 2020). Of that volume, 92.6 million tons were connected with foreign trade. 70.3 million tons corresponded to imports, while the remaining 22.7 million tons corresponded to exports.

The Mexican railway network includes 26,914 kilometers (16,724 miles) of track, of which 3,183 km are not currently being used; of the rail track that is operating, 17,643 km (74.3%) are part of the main concessioned railway, 4,533 km (19.1%) are part of the secondary railway, and 1,555 km (6.55%) are privately owned. 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 six private concessionaires and seven public assignees. The private concessionaires are: 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), and Suburban Railroad (Ferrocarril Suburbano). The public assignees are: 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), Gobierno del Estado de Nuevo León, Gobierno del Estado de Jalisco, FONADIN, and FONATUR Tren Maya.

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 three 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 2021, Mexican rail lines moved 92.4 billion tkms, 0.5 percent higher than 2020.

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

According to the General Directorate of Rail and Multimodal Development and the Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT), there are currently 15 rail projects in Mexico at different stages of development (6 under construction, 4 about to be started and 5 in the initial/feasibility study stage).Of particular interest are the following projects:

  • Under construction: modernization of rail line Z (from Medias Aguas to Salina Cruz) 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.
  • To be started: refurbishment of rail lines FA (310 km) from Coatzacoalcos to Palenque and K (472 km) from Ixtepec to Ciudad Hidalgo in southeast Mexico. 
  • Under construction: “Maya Train”. This signature project is a 1,500 kilometer (1,000 miles) 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.

Under construction: 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:

  • Initial/feasibility stage: 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.
  • Under construction: Suburban Rail branch line (23 km) connecting the existing station at Lechería to the AIFA in the State of Mexico.
  • To be started: 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:

  • Initial/feasibility stage: A passenger train connecting Tapachula with the Puerto Chiapas International Airport would refurbish 40.5 km of the rail line that is currently not being used. The project is also evaluating the construction of a new logistics Center at Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas.   
  • To be started: 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)
  • Initial/feasibility stage: approved by the President’s Office, the USMCA/TMEC Corridor 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.


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 announced as part of the 2020 Economic Reactivation Agreement in October (70%) and November (55%) are road/highway related. Furthermore, 15 projects 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 the State of Mexico), the Zaragoza Elevated Viaduct (Mexico City), and the Tuxpan-Ozuluama section of the Tuxpan-Tampico Highway (Veracruz).


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 to the timely initiation or completion of infrastructure projects. However, below are a few highlights.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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)


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.


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


Juan Carlos Ruíz

Commercial Specialist, Construction

U.S. Commercial Service—Mexico City


Silvia I. Cárdenas

Commercial Specialist, Airports and Aerospace

U.S. Commercial Service—Mexico City