MSC’s upsized Santana service shows Contecon Manzanillo is choice Mexican trade gateway

The MSC Vega at Contecon Manzanillo

Contecon Manzanillo S.A. (CMSA), International Container Terminal Services, Inc.’s business unit operating the Specialized Container Terminal 2 at the Port of Manzanillo, has been included in the rotation of Mediterranean Shipping Company’s (MSC) Santana service. The development reaffirms Manzanillo’s pivotal position as Mexico’s premier gateway for international commerce and underscores Contecon Manzanillo’s critical role in facilitating efficient trade flows.

In a significant move, MSC terminated the westbound call at Lazaro Cardenas and chose Manzanillo as the preferred eastbound way port for its Mexican operations under the Santana service. This underscores Manzanillo’s status as the gateway of choice for Mexican trade to the Far East.

The adjustment in the Santana service, which connects the Far East and the East Coast of the United States, started with the recent maiden call of the 13,102-TEU MSC VEGA to Manzanillo.

Furthermore, MSC will integrate calls at key US ports including New York and Norfolk, replacing Port Everglades and Baltimore. MSC vessels will return from Norfolk to Thailand via the Suez Canal as part of the change, leading to the termination of the westbound call at Lazaro Cardenas. However, the Santana service will continue to make regular eastbound way port calls at the Port of Manzanillo.

The revised port rotation is as follows: Laem Chabang, Cai Mep, Ningbo, Shanghai, Busan, Manzanillo, Cristobal, Caucedo, New York, Norfolk, Laem Chabang. While a mix of vessels with capacities ranging from 6,350 to 15,000 TEUs is currently deployed, future schedules indicate sailings exclusively featuring  13,100 to 15,000 TEU neopanamax vessels, emphasizing MSC’s commitment to efficiency and capacity.

José Antonio Contreras, Contecon Manzanillo chief executive officer, expressed his enthusiasm and said: “Our partnership with MSC and their strategic decision to prioritize Manzanillo highlight the critical role we play in facilitating efficient trade flows. Manzanillo is the gateway of choice for trade to the Far East, and we are committed to supporting the growth and success of the Mexican trade industry.”

Contecon Manzanillo’s commitment to growth and expansion is exemplified by its investment of USD230 million in the upcoming expansion phase over the next two years. This initiative is set to add over one million TEU capacity to the port, further solidifying its position as a vital trade gateway.

As the maritime horizon unfolds with larger vessels and expanded capabilities, Contecon Manzanillo and the ICTSI Group remain steadfast in their commitment to advancing Mexico’s trade landscape . This milestone ushers in an era of renewed growth, innovation and prosperity.