To provide retailers, manufacturers, consumer product companies, agriculture exporters, and other shippers that import into or export out of Mexico with timely, authoritative and actionable intelligence to better manage their supply chains in the current environment. Through solutions-based discussion, and insights from industry leaders, shippers will take away valuable insights into mitigating disruptions, holding transportation providers accountable, managing risk, and improving supply chain visibility.
THEME: GROWING PAINS — IS MEXICO'S TRANSPORTATION SECTOR READY TO DELIVER?
Facing a myriad of domestic and global logistics challenges, Mexican importers and exporters are hungry for innovation, technology, and new ways to mitigate rising diesel fuel costs and persistent security challenges, while boosting visibility and reliability within their supply chains. The rise of GPS and other Internet of Things (IoT) technology provides an opportunity for shippers to better track their cargoes amid the threat of theft on the highway and rails. The risks are exacerbated by the long distances between container gateways and inland markets, which increases shippers' supply chain costs and reduces their ability to respond to shipment delays. At the same time, a 12 percent year-over-year jump in laden container volume in 2017, according to government statistics, is driving increases in marine terminal capacity, and, to a lesser extent, enhanced connectivity to rail and road networks. The Mexican government has pledged a $5 billion upgrade to the nation's ports, initially saying improvements would be funded with public money but subsequently saying a large portion would come from the private sector. Among the port projects under way are a planned expansion at Veracruz, which would increase its 900,000-TEU capacity fivefold, and a new rail tunnel at Manzanillo, which is expected to open this year. Mexican shippers are routing more freight through the Gulf Coast and less through Pacific ports, resembling the broader eastward shift of North American imports after the 2016 opening of the expanded Panama Canal. Growth in Mexican auto manufacturing on the Gulf Coast for European markets also is fueling the shift. The container growth is outpacing Mexico's GDP expansion, which grew 2.3 percent in the first half of 2017, but slowed to 1.6 percent in the third quarter and 1.2 percent for the full year, according to IHS Markit's Mexico Economic Outlook. Mexican GDP will grow 1.8 percent this year, IHS Markit forecasts. Amid concerns that the Trump administration will walk away from the North American Free Trade Agreement, cross-border shippers are tapping intermodal rail and transloading to find capacity and stem rising costs created by the equipment imbalance. With its unmatched record of delivering the highest-quality event programming, this inaugural Mexico Trade Forum will dissect the complex and interconnected trends shaping the country's trade landscape — from market and regulatory analysis to the automated supply chain sweeping the industry.
• Economic and Market Outlook: Analysis of the macroeconomic indicators that will determine the direction of the ocean, rail and trucking industries.
• Cargo Visibility: What solutions exist or are in development to improve poor visibility on the ocean and land?
• Port Infrastructure and Efficiency: Port capacity has increased considerably in recent years, but is it enough to keep up with demand?
• Technology and Automation: In-depth discussion about blockchain, big data analysis, and cargo- and equipment-tracking devices aimed at improving efficiency and reducing costs.
• Trade Relations: A global view and analysis of NAFTA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and other Mexican trade agreements.