New trade routes highlight growing Asia-Mexico trade

A new sea route targeting Asia-to-Mexico trade from Cosco Shipping Lines began operating recently. Alongside Cosco, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and CMA CGM have also initiated services to capitalise on increasing container volumes and growing Chinese investment in Mexico.

Cosco Shipping Lines and its subsidiary OOCL introduced the new Transpacific Latin Pacific 5 (TLP5) line, providing direct connections between China, South Korea, Japan, and Mexico. The TLP5 service offers transit times of 15 and 20 days from Qingdao, China, to the ports of Ensenada and Manzanillo, Mexico, respectively, utilising eight ships with capacities of 4,000 to 6,000 twenty-foot equivalent units.

French carrier CMA CGM is set to launch the M2X – Mexico Express Service, connecting China, South Korea, and Japan to Mexico’s ports of Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas. This service aims to streamline shipments from the Far East to Mexico’s West Coast.

MSC is also introducing a loop shuttle service connecting Asia to Mexico, starting mid-May. This new service will provide additional coverage and frequency between Asia and Mexico, complementing MSC’s existing network for the Andes, Aztec, Inca, and Santana lines.

The surge in shipments from China to Mexico is attributed to various factors, including nearshoring of manufacturing to Mexico and ongoing geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China. Import container bookings from China to Mexico have significantly increased, with Chinese direct investments in Mexico rising by 11% year over year in 2023 to $135 billion.

The new sea routes and increased services reflect the growing trade between Asia and Mexico, offering more efficient and direct options for cargo transportation.