Development of Maritime Business and Trade Opportunities

The Port of San Diego ranks as California’s fourth-largest port, generating about $7.6 billion in regional economic impact. The Chamber seeks to expand upon short-sea coastal shipping opportunities that will allow for the growth of the blue economy between Mexico and the U.S.

The Port of San Diego ranks as the fourth largest of California’s 11 ports. The Port’s maritime portfolio generates skilled jobs and contributes to a healthy, diverse regional economy. The Port offers complementary services to the larger ports, processing “breakbulk” cargo that does not fit in standardized metal containers. With Mexican auto production currently ranked fourth in car exports and expected to increase from a $3.5 million to a $5.5 million production rate by 2020, the Port of San Diego supports any cross-border efforts to increase West Coast short-sea coastal shipping service opportunities. As opportunities are identified such as the development and expected increase of annual throughput capacity at the Deep-Water Port Lazaro Cardenas, it will allow for increased regional cross-border trade opportunities.

National City Marine Terminal (NCMT) is the Port’s roll-on/roll-off terminal operated by Pasha Automotive Services and processes automobiles and other rolling vehicles for import and export, including one out of every 10 imported cars sold in the U.S.

In 2014, Pasha Automotive Services launched an operational short-sea coastal shipping line and is actively developing additional opportunities for Mexico short-sea service.

Through its advocacy efforts, the Chamber has:

  • Supported a proposal to begin a comprehensive dialog on a West Coast short-sea coastal shipping cross-border strategy.
  • Increased expected import volume potential from Mexico.
  • Specifically identified break-bulk products such as automobiles, and seasonable perishables are targeted opportunities.
  • Supported continued dialogue on a West Coast short-sea coastal shipping potential of Mexican avocados from Lazaro Cardenas.
  • Submitted proposal to add water service to avocado exports (approx. 11,000 tons) from Mexico, currently exported by land, this would result in movement of 3,000 tons on a single trip.
  • Encouraged Mexico to create a fixed-percentage model based on increased volume commitments, to be dedicated for a shipping allocation to develop a stable, and regular West Coat short sea coastal shipping program.