Lázaro Cárdenas

Lázaro Cárdenas is a port city that with its surrounding municipality is located in the southern part of the Mexican state of Michoacán. It was formerly known as Los Llanitos, but changed its name as a tribute to Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, a Michoacán-born politician who was president of Mexico from 1934 to 1940.

The city is located where the Río Balsas drains into the Pacific Ocean. In the 2005 census, the city’s population was 74,884. It is served by Lázaro Cárdenas Airport. The municipality of Lázaro Cárdenas, which has an area of 1,160.24 km2 (447.97 sq mi), had a total population of 162,997 in 2005, and includes extensive territory outside the city, including the communities of Las Guacamayas, La Orilla, and La Mira.

History

When known as Los Llanitos, it formed part of the municipality of Arteaga. In 1932 it was given town status and named Melchor Ocampo, after politician Melchor Ocampo. On April 12, 1937, during the governorship of José María Mendoza Prado, the state congress decreed the creation of the municipality of Melchor Ocampo del Balsas. The name of the municipality changed again on November 17, 1970, to Lázaro Cárdenas, in honor of the popular former president who had died the previous month.

In 2006, steelworkers in a Lázaro Cárdenas steel plant went on strike, causing numerous injuries and deaths.

In July 2007, a ship was caught by Mexican officials at the port of Lázaro Cárdenas, originating in Hong Kong, after traveling through the Port of Long Beach with 19 tons of pseudoephedrine, a raw material needed for the manufacturing process of the drug methamphetamine. The Chinese owner Zhenli Ye Gon was found to have $206 million at his Mexico City mansion. It went undetected at Long Beach.

Port

The Port of Lázaro Cárdenas is the largest Mexican seaport and one of the largest seaports in the Pacific Ocean basin, with an annual traffic capacity of around 25 million tonnes of cargo and 2,200,000 TEU’s.

Lázaro Cárdenas is home to a deepwater seaport that handles container, dry bulk, and liquid cargo. The port also exports automobiles from various Mexican assembly plants to markets in southeast Asia and South America. The port handled 1.24 million TEU in 2012 and is expanding to a capacity of 2.2 million TEU annually. Cargo moves to and from the port by road and rail equally, with rail service provided exclusively by Kansas City Southern de México. The port is expected to become a major container facility due to congestion at the U.S. ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and its relative proximity to major cities such as Chicago, Kansas City, and Houston. In preparation for the port’s increased capacity, railway and highway infrastructure running north–south through the center of Mexico has been upgraded to handle the anticipated increase in volume of goods bound for the United States using this transportation corridor. If a proposed government-backed Pacific port is built at Punta Colonet, Baja California, goods flowing to U.S. states like Arizona and Nevada could bypass the congested Los Angeles region with closer access those markets, providing increased competition with Lázaro Cárdenas.

In November 2013, the Mexican navy seized the port from criminal gangs.

Lázaro Cárdenas is home to a deep-water seaport that handles container, dry bulk, and liquid cargo. The port currently has one container terminal, which handled 1.24 million TEU in 2012, and has a total capacity of 2.2 million TEU annually. APMT has plans to build an additional container terminal that would bring the port’s capacity to 3.4 million TEU in 2015 and 6.5 million TEU in 2020. Cargo moves to and from the port by road and rail equally, with rail service provided exclusively by Kansas City Southern de México. The port is expected to become a major container facility due to congestion at the U.S. ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and its relative proximity to major cities such as Chicago, Kansas City, and Houston. In preparation for the port’s increased capacity, railway and highway infrastructure running north-south through the center of Mexico has been upgraded in recent years to handle the anticipated increase in volume of goods bound for the United States using this transportation corridor. If a proposed government-backed Pacific port is built at Punta Colonet, Baja California, goods flowing to U.S. states like Arizona and Nevada could bypass the congested Los Angeles region with closer access those markets, providing increased competition with Lázaro Cárdenas.

Transportation

Air travel

The city is served by the Lázaro Cárdenas Airport.

Port

The port of Lázaro Cárdenas has both public and private terminals specialised in:

Public terminals:

Grain terminal: 15,064 m2 (162,150 sq ft)
Multi use terminals: 62,889 m2 (676,930 sq ft)
Container terminals: 634,120 m2 (6,825,600 sq ft)

Private terminals:

Mineral terminal: 60,328 m2 (649,370 sq ft)
Fluid terminal: 1,783,413 m2 (19,196,500 sq ft)
Coal terminal: 1,163,408 m2 (12,522,820 sq ft)
Fertilizer terminal: 1,487,381 m2 (16,010,040 sq ft)


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