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KCSM reports slow recovery from 2021 Mexico rail blockades

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, October 27, 2022
KCSM reports slow recovery from 2021 Mexico rail blockades

Rail company Kansas City Southern de México (KCSM) lost US$35mn due to blockades of its lines in southwestern Mexico in 2021 and it has not yet fully recovered from the economic impacts.

The blockades, related to government payment of debts to teachers, affected the company’s freight operations to and from Lázaro Cárdenas port, halting trains between August and October last year. 

These issues led to a drop of around 14% in the freight transported by rail from the Pacific coast port, according to KCSM president and head of the Mexican rail association (AMF), Óscar Del Cueto.

“A lot of our clients chose a different means of transportation or a different port of entry for their products …. We've recovered around 2-3 percentage points of a total of 14% of the freight that we lost,” he said during the XX ExpoRail conference organized by AMF in Mexico City. “The main focus is now to regain the trust of the clients,” he added. 

Del Cueto said that most of the freight previously transported by train being moved by other means involves consumer goods, products for department stores and household appliances imported from different countries that enter the Mexico City, San Luis Potosí or Nuevo León markets. 

“We estimate that during those 90 days we lost US$35mn, just us as a rail company. We would also have to add what the clients lost … they were the parties most affected by the situation,” he said.  

Nuevo León state industry chamber Caintra estimated in September last year that losses due to the blockades amounted to some US$3.8bn dollars, according to news service T21. Meanwhile, Michoacán state industrial association Aiemac reported that this issue had led to around 50,000t having to be retained at Lázaro Cárdenas port.

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