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Carriers bypass Panama Canal

Carriers bypass Panama Canal

Transpacific carriers are making more calls to Mexico’s Port of Lazaro Cardenas to deliver cargo to the US Midwest to avoid using the Panama Canal and its low water restrictions.

Increased vessel calls come as Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) looks to grow its intermodal franchise at the port.

Lazaro Cardenas, the second-busiest container port in Mexico after Manzanillo, is already a regular stop for services between Asia and the west coast of South America, but not a regular call for transpacific services that bring Asian cargo to North America.

Zim Integrated Shipping says it will add Lazaro Cardenas as a direct call on its eCommerce Baltimore Express (ZXB) service connecting Southeast Asia and China with the US east coast, with the first arrival November 9.

Zim said Lazaro Cardenas represents “an alternative gateway to Dallas, Laredo, Kansas City and Chicago.

Hapag-Lloyd is also expected to start bringing in US-bound freight through Lazaro Cardenas under an agreement the CPKC announced in June. CPKC did not say when the new service would start.

CMA CGM also has been making ad hoc calls to Lazaro Cardenas to circumvent the current draft restrictions for ships transiting the Panama Canal.

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