In 2013,Terminales Portuarias del Pacífico (TPP), which is based in the Mexican port of Lázaro Cárdenas, completed its first full year of operations, during which it handled 3.6mt (million tonnes) of iron ore, which was higher than budgeted. Indeed, such was the affluence of traffic that the terminal was reduced to operating at the limits of its capacity and has subsequently had to invest a further $7 million in acquiring a new Liebherr 600 crane, which is the largest of its type in the world.

With two port cranes now operational,TPP says it will be able to handle Capesize vessels of up to 142,000 tonnes in 4.7 days, as opposed to seven days with a single crane.

For 2014, the terminal is forecasting traffic of up to 4.5mt of iron ore, which will be exported to China from mines in Michoacán.

However, earlier this year,TPP suffered a major setback, following a delay in awarding the correct mining permits, which delayed the first shipment of iron ore to China this year until 5 March. This initial consignment consisted of 74,000 tonnes, which was loaded at a rate of 43,000 tonnes per day.

Barry Cross