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Surge in container shipping form China to Mexico

Container shipping from China to Mexico has witnessed a remarkable spike, soaring by nearly 60% year-over-year in January, as per data sourced from the global freight intelligence platform, Xeneta. Approximately 117,000 twenty-foot containers were shipped during the month, compared to 73,000 in the same period last year.

Peter Sand, Chief Analyst at Xeneta, describes the China to Mexico trade route as the strongest growing trade in the world right now. He notes that the strength in this trade relationship has been steadily increasing, with an annual growth rate of 34.8% in 2023, a significant jump from 3.5% in 2022.

Photo © Ritu Jethani |

Sand emphasises the significance of this growth by highlighting the evolving dynamics between China, Mexico, and the United States. In January 2024, the trade volume between China and the U.S. West Coast was nine times larger than that between China and Mexico, down from 11 times in January 2023.

The surge in trade between China and Mexico has led to notable shifts in global trade patterns. Mexico even surpassed China in the first quarter of 2023 to become the top trading partner for imports into the United States in terms of value. A considerable portion of goods shipped from Mexico to the U.S. may be intended to circumvent tariffs imposed on Chinese imports as part of the ongoing trade war.

Mexico's major ports have experienced a substantial increase in container traffic, with January 2023 witnessing a 20% rise, according to data from the country's naval ministry. In addition to the surge in container shipping, various significant projects are underway in Mexico, signaling robust economic activity. These include a $71.3 million plant investment by Japan's Nippon Steel and developments such as the construction of a 3.7 million-square-foot logistics park in El Paso, with major players like Bosch already securing space, underscore the region's growing prominence in global trade and investment.


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