Mexican rail freight landscape

Increase in Mexican rail freight traffic this year

Mexican rail freight traffic increased in volume by 7 per cent to 20.9 million tonnes in January-February this year, compared with the same period in 2017. This is in line with the revival of Mexican railway since 2010. During the first two months of this year national freight traffic accounted for 37 per cent of the total volume, having increased by 5 per cent to 7.3 million tonnes. International freight traffic increased by 4 per cent to 12.7 million tonnes.

Strikingly, revenues of trade by rail between Mexico and the US, its main commercial partner, have declined by 5.8 per cent this year to 12.4 billion Dollars (10.3 billion Euros), according to the US Bureau of Transport Statistics (BTS). Export from Mexico to the US declined by 13.2 per cent to 7.1 billion Dollars (5.9 billion Euros). On the other hand, import from the US to Mexico increased by 8.7 per cent to 4.6 billion Dollars (3.8 billion Euros).

Automotive products, steel, oil seed and grain products were the most important goods transported. Laredo-Nuevo Laredo and Eagle Pass-Piedras Negras were the international corridors with most traffic.

Railway revival

Mexico is strengthening its rail freight industry after the privatisation of Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México, Mexico’s national railway company in the 1990s. International traffic volumes with the US show the strong commercial relationship between both countries. However, the Hispanic-American country has high national traffic volumes, essential to ensure integral economic development and minimise economic differences between Mexico City and the northern states on the one hand, and the poorest states in the south.

Author: Jose Gutierrez

Jose Gutierrez is RailFreight's correspondent in Spain.

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