Port Focus: Mexican Ports

Port Focus: Mexican Ports

During last few years Mexican authorities have been working on the major port modernization program for Mexican ports to meet the increased demand for logistics and supply services. They are investing about 48 billion pesos ($3.2 billion) in the projects that focus on preparing the ports for the increased E&P activity offshore Mexico.

Last year we could observe a major increase if it comes to the cargo volumes handled by the Mexican ports. According to The Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of Mexico (SCT) volumes increased by 12.2% passing the mark of 6m teu for the first time in its history.

There are four strategic locations that handle most of Mexico’s traffic: two ports in the Pacific coast, Manzanillo and Lázaro Cárdenas, and two ports in the Atlantic coast, Altamira and Veracruz.

The goal of the SCT is for these ports to become International Class Ports thanks to the major development and modernization that will increase the storage capacity and allow the access for bigger vessels.


Have a look at the infographic below to see how the Mexican ports’ cargo volume has grown!

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Djibouti: Tiny State, Massive Status

Djibouti: Tiny State, Massive Status

When Djibouti gained its independence in 1977, no one thought the tiny African state would last. 40 years later, Djibouti is a geopolitical powerhouse

Alright, Djibouti isn’t quite a household name, we admit that, but its status is steadily growing. Djibouti, a country about the size of Wales, has a population of 900000 and is sandwiched between Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. It looks out to Yemen, between them lies the 20 miles wide Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, a vital shipping lane that connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. It is this geography which has defined Djibouti.
In recent history, the former French colony has been exploited for military strategy. The United States has Camp Lemonnier, an overseas military base, in the country’s capital, Djibouti City. Originally a French air base, the camp is attached to the Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport. The US took control in 2002 to operate drone strikes for its post-September 11 counterterror efforts. The US was attracted to Djibouti because of its access to high terror areas like the Middle East.
There are similarities between modern Djibouti and 1940s Casablanca, due to foreign military activity. Lemonnier accommodates French and German troops and Japan has its only overseas base in Djibouti, established to combat piracy threats to commercial ships off the coast of Somalia. Nevertheless, the Americans have the biggest military presence in Djibouti.
Well, at least they did because China’s building a new naval base just a few miles from Lemonnier.
China wants to be a global superpower and is strengthening its military. Beijing is predicted to spend US$232 billion on its forces come 2020, that’s more than all western countries put together. This overseas base is a first for the People’s Republic and marks its international growth.
China has cited anti-piracy operations as motivation for the new base. The Gulf of Aden is a notable piracy hotspot but hijacking in the area has been relatively dormant for the last five years. So the new base has the US concerned.
For some time China and the US have been strategic rivals. Both have an arsenal of intercontinental nuclear missiles, both snoop on one another with satellites and, occasionally, both face off in contested waters. But the two have always kept a good distance, however, this is too close for comfort for the US, who believe China can take a good look at its counterterror operations.
But, China has genuine trade interests. The Port of Djibouti has significance in the ‘One Belt, One Road’ project. The project defines the Chinese economic offensive to control international trade using East/West shipping lanes, so Djibouti is of strategic importance. China’s connectivity scheme develops key infrastructure through Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Greece. The plans will use the ever-expanding and state funded Cosco Line to export Chinese made goods through Asia, Africa and Europe.
China’s new naval base can help manage the belt’s operations. The Horn of Africa is renowned for piracy and, even if the situation has quietened over the past years, China needs a strong protection force for the project to be a success.
This seems like the same old story for Djibouti. But, it’s not just a new base the People’s Republic is building.
There has been a remarkable investment into Djibouti’s logistical capabilities. Beijing has invested US$3.5 billion in a ‘Free Trade Zone’ in Djibouti City. Currently, the Port of Djibouti is used for transhipment and refuelling but the investment by the state backed China Merchant Holdings is set to realise Djibouti’s potential. A new container terminal and a multi-purpose terminal alongside new stacking yards will revitalise the port.
With the new electric railway connecting Djibouti City to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa (again, built by Chinese state owned companies) the Port of Djibouti could become a gateway for Eastern Africa and extend the belt’s reach.
Furthermore, Chinese investment extends to new fuel pipes, new water pipes and 2 airport proposals with a new high tech hospital already financed and constructed.
China has additionally considered mediating the Dumeira border dispute between neighbours, Eritrea and Djibouti. Both claim the Dumeira Islands and tensions have recently escalated with heightened patrols at the border. Qatar originally had peacekeeping responsibilities but pulled out as it entered a diplomatic crisis of its own.
China’s interest in the dispute is for its own good. Historic instability has plagued many states along the belt and if tensions continue to fluctuate there will be damages to China’s trade initiative. These investments are supposed to cement diplomatic relations so Eurasian trade prospers.
So, why should America be concerned? Well, they’ve had a tough time in Djibouti. The US has never had good public relations in Djibouti. US troops are prohibited from leaving Lemonnier and many locals wonder why as there’s no pressing threat to American safety.
Drones have also caused a nuisance, some have crashed into local neighbourhoods and Djiboutian air traffic controllers have rejected them from taking off or landing out of resentment. In response, the US paid to retrain the controllers but many refused to attend lessons and American teachers were locked outside the control tower.
The US has tried to make up some public relations by providing free dental care for Djiboutians but this is nothing compared to what the Chinese promise. The US pays a whopping US$70 million a year for Lemonnier and that’s incentive for the Djiboutian government. Lemonnier is easy income but the Djiboutians may start to favour the Chinese considering the new crops of investment.
But the US shouldn’t be too concerned because Djibouti needs all it can get. With a mostly arid climate, there is very little Djibouti is able to accommodate yet its GDP has steadily risen since 2002 thanks to Lemonnier, and it should expect more of the same.
Djibouti will see its GDP grow thanks to Chinese investment and China will to see its trade prosper thanks, in part, to Djibouti. And the US? It will see all this happening from the front row.
Our COVID-19 Statement – We Are Open For Business

Our COVID-19 Statement – We Are Open For Business

We would like to reassure our customers and suppliers that Tuscor Lloyds remains open for business as usual, despite current global events.  We are committed to going over and above to serve our clients, even during the most...

Growing together at Breakbulk Europe 2019

Growing together at Breakbulk Europe 2019

Breakbulk Europe Exhibition is something we look forward to every year. It’s a great opportunity for the logistics industry and breakbulk & projects cargo specialists to meet up and spend exciting time exchanging ideas, getting to know each other and strengthening...

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Port Salford Expansion

Port Salford Expansion

2017 may be the start of an exciting time for North West as the completion of the Salford Port expansion looks to restore the Manchester Ship Canal to its former glory

In January 1894 the notorious Manchester ship canal opened; a river system expanding 36 miles, following the route of 7 different rivers. The canal originates at the Mersey estuary and travels to Salford Quays. In its time it was the largest river navigation canal in the world helping the Port of Manchester to become Britain’s third busiest port, despite the city being 40 miles inland.


7 Different Rivers

  • River Bollin
  • Glaze Brook
  • River Mersey
  • River Irwell
  • Bridgewater Canal
  • Shropshire Union Canal
  • Weaver Navigation
Over time however traffic passing through the canal declined as ships grew too large and the docks at Salford closed. But now it looks as though the historic river system has been given a new lease of life thanks to Peel Ports, who are in the midst of £138 million regeneration project.
The plans include huge redevelopment to the canal and surrounding area, with long term aims to boost capacity at the Port of Salford from 8,000 containers a year to 100,000 by 2030.


Salford Port Expansion Plans
Salford Port Expansion Plans
Peel Ports plan to expand the Port Salford creating an inland port facility on the Barton Strategic Site next to to the Manchester ship canal. Blue prints show a distribution facility with around 50,569 sq. ft. of warehouse space, 10,118 sq. ft. office space, including 81 car parking spaces and 16 trailer parking spaces.

The development sits within peel ports £50 billion ‘Atlantic gateway’ vision combing operations at the Port of Liverpool with the Manchester Ship canal to combat road congestion. The new Salford port expansion will be the UK’s first inland tin modal port facility and distribution park with terminal operations set to commence at the end of 2017.


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7 Insider Tips: Importing from China to UK

7 Insider Tips: Importing from China to UK

As Britain prepares to leave the EU the importance of our trading relationship with China is set to become ever more crucial. What better time for our team to divulge some insider knowledge on the 7 things every shipper should consider when importing from China to the UK

In 2014, UK Imports from China were reportedly worth £38.3 billion, the 3rd largest source of imports behind Germany and the US. The number of UK companies sourcing products from the manufacturing powerhouse has increased significantly since the start of 2000. Only 1.8% of the UK’s total imports were sourced in China in 2000 and in 2014 the figure stands at 7%.

Table shows Growth in Imports from China 2000 to 2014.


Growth in UK Imports from China

UK Import Regulations: The Basics

When importing goods from China you will need to ask yourself the following questions

1. Have you declared your goods to customs?

This applies to all imports outside of the EU. This can be submitted to HMRC using Single Administration Document (SAD) via processing system called CHIEF (Customs handling of Import and Export Freight).

2. Have you paid the required VAT / duty?

The amount of duty payable is dependent on the types of goods and how they are classified under the UK Trade Tariff. The goods will not be released by customs until the duty and VAT has been paid.

3. Do you know your Commodity Codes?

It is important to find the right commodity code for your goods. This is a ten-digit number for imports from outside of the EU. Without declaring the commodity code on customs paperwork HMRC can impose fines and seize your goods when they arrive at customs, which may cause unnecessary delays in your supply chain.

4. Do your goods need an Import Licence?

Some goods may also require an import licence, typical licence goods include firearms, textile and food. For more information on import licences and to understand if your goods require one visit the gov.uk website.

5. Have you forecast for Seasonal Peaks?

Many of our customers exporting from China prepare months, if not years, in advance for Chinese New Year. Over 200 million people travel home for the celebrations, halting production and reduced manufacturing output is seen from the end of January through to the first half of March. In 2017 Chinese New Year falls on 28th January, put the date in your diary and plan your logistics accordingly!

Not only is it worth considering seasonal peaks, it is also important to keep an eye on manufacturing from major multinationals that have the power to dominate shipping capacity.

Tuscor Lloyds Air Freight team have recently experienced space restrictions from China as a result of the new iPhone 7 launch in September 2016. As the famous iPhone factory is located on the outskirts of Shanghai, Air freight space from China has clearly been dominated by the tech giant. Reports from previous product launches confirm that Apple intentionally buy up all available holiday air freight space out of China.

6. Have you chosen the best mode of Transport?

Deciding on the best mode of transport for your imports from China can be a tricky decision. The main considerations for any logistics manager is the bottom line, the speed in which you can receive the goods and the reliability of the service.

To transport heavier, bulkier goods air freight is far more expensive than sea freight. But the voyage time by sea from China to the UK can take anything up to 35 days. To air freight goods from China may take just 3 days. For more information on whether sea freight or air freight is best for your business take a look at our article here.

7. Do you understand your Incoterms?

One of the big decisions to make when importing from China is agreeing pricing structures as many Chinese manufacturers will include the shipping element.

Incoterms are internationally accepted commercial terms defining the respective roles of the buyer and seller in the arrangement of transportation and other responsibilities and clarify when the ownership of the merchandise takes place. They are used in conjunction with a sales agreement or other method of transacting the sale.

Importing from China Incoterms
Whether you are an established international business or importing for the very first time, our China import specialists will provide the very best service to suit to your business needs. Contact our team on +44 (0) 161 868 6000 / shipping@tuscorlloyds.com and we will help to get your cargo moving.
The Port of Dampier [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Port of Dampier [INFOGRAPHIC]

As our projects team have been working on multiple Breakbulk shipments to the Port of Dampier we thought we’d take a look at some of the historical background and port capabilities for Australia’s largest bulk export port  

Dampier is located in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia, approximately 1550 kilometres north of Perth. It sits looking out to the Indian Ocean and is owned by the Pilabara Ports Authority who also own several other ports in the Western Australian region.

Historical Background

Iron Ore Mines & Railways in Pilbara

Iron Ore Mines & Railways in Pilbara

The port town of Dampier is named after the English buccaneer William Dampier who visited in 1688. He was the first Englishman to explore parts of what is today Australia and has been described as Australia’s first natural historian.

The Port of Dampier officially opened in 1966 when the first iron ore was transported via the Hamersley and Rove river railway to parker point and from there loaded onto ships. Now the Port is the largest tonnage shipping port in Australia, housing export facilities for companies like Hamersley Iron and Dampier Salt.

Port Capabilities

A recent press release highlighted the ports success in 2015/2016 with record throughput of 200,000 tonnes from the previous year. Imports for the year increased by 6% and in June 2016 the Port saw an increase in throughput of 10% from the same month in 2015.



For more information follow the link here to download ‘The Pilbara Port Authority Port of Dampier Handbook

Why not take a look at Tuscor Lloyds recent Breakbulk project to Dampier here.

Sources: https://www.pilbaraports.com.au

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PORT FOCUS: Port of Santos

PORT FOCUS: Port of Santos

The Port of Santos is the largest container terminal in South America and new developments plan to expand the handling capacity to 2.4 million TEU by 2019.

The port handled approximately 38% of Brazil’s total container traffic last year, and the new plans show there is no intention of slowing down. $324 million is due to be invested in intermodal integration at the Tecon Santos facility on the left bank of the Port.

The president of Santos Brasil, Carlos Sepúlveda, stated that “With the new investments, Tecon Santos, which is already a benchmark in container handling, will be able to efficiently operate the megaships that will soon be arriving at the port, giving Brazilian importers and exporters more competitiveness.”

The plans involve extending the pier allowing up to 3 x 13,000 teu vessels to berth at the same time. These plans also include dredging to deepen the berths to around 49 feet. The railway sidings will be doubled in length to 800m removing the need for vehicles to cross railway lines and Port Brasil also plan to purchase a wide selection of specialist equipment to handle cargo.

With all the new developments at South America’s largest port, we thought it was the perfect time to bring you some fascinating facts and figures.

Port of Santos Infographic

If you need help with your shipment to Brazil contact one of our team today.

Be it LCL, groupage or projects we have fantastic rates and reliable sailings to get your cargo moving.