Mexico - Limited Port Assessment
2.1 Mexico Port of Veracruz

Port Overview

The Port of Veracruz is on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in south-central Mexico, a little over 300 kilometers east-southeast of Mexico City. Veracruz is Mexico's biggest and most important port and a transportation centre for the State of Veracruz. Located about 240 kilometers southeast of the Port of Tuxpan and almost 400 kilometers southeast of the Port of Tampico, the port is the backbone of the city's economy. It is also an important fishing port. The primary clients of the port are international car companies that have factories in the State of Puebla.

In 1991, the Federal Government took over the control and administration of the Port of Veracruz and brought in private stevedoring companies to improve cargo-handling operations. In 1993, the Mexican Congress passed the General Ports Act to regulate all aspects of the country's ports and to create the Integrated Port Administrations. The Administracion Portuaria Integral de Veracruz (APIVER) was established in 1994. The APIVER is a variable capital corporation with a 50-year concession, extendable another 50 years, to manage and operate the Port of Veracruz facilities and buildings. Through third parties, APIVER manages port facilities, operates terminals, and port facilities.

According to 2017 figures, 60% of seaway vehicle export and import is passing through Port of Veracruz. There are many vehicle terminal operators using public berths for vessel operations. There is 1 dedicated container terminal and another multi-purpose terminal operator for containerized volumes which is the major operation of Port of Veracruz with 40% of total tonnage in 2017.There are a couple of solid bulk terminal concessions as well, but all grain terminals and 2 liquid bulk terminals are equipped to receive bulk shipments only, they do not have the capacity to perform export shipments. Only way to export bulk grain is using public berths and stevedoring companies.

The new Port of Veracruz that is 6 km North of the current port will become operational within 2019. Current port will not be closed, and it will remain in service. Container Terminal will be moving to the new port, current multi-purpose and grain terminals will be staying where they are and there will be 2 new bulk grain terminals in the new port as additional capacity, one for mineral grain and other for alimentation solid grain. A new logistics centre including a free zone is planned and being constructed behind the new port area which will bring new investment and further development to the area.

Port website:

Key port information may also be found at:

Port Location and Contact



Province or District


Nearest Town or City

with Distance from Port

Heroica Veracruz

0 (km)

Port's Complete Name)

Puerto de Veracruz





Managing Company or Port Authority

APIVER (Administracion Portuario Integral De Veracruz)

Management Contact Person

Lic. Luz Eugenia Torres Diaz

Nearest Airport and Airlines with Frequent International Arrivals/Departures



Port Pictures



Please also see below new port and free zone project.


Description and Contacts of Key Companies

Container Terminal

Hutchison ICAVE, handling %86 of container volumes in Port of Veracruz, concession will be ending in 2039, %100 subsidiary of CK Hutchison Holdings. Hutchison ICAVE will be moving from its current location to new port in second half of 2019. Phase 1 will be 41,5 hectares and construction of Phase 2 will start in 2020 for an additional terminal area of 31.5 hectares. When finalized, Hutchison Icave will have 1,050 meters dock with 3 berthing positions with 15,5 meters draft in comparison to 500 meters dock, 1 berthing position and 10,5 meters draft of today.

Multi-purpose Terminal (using public berth)

CICE is handling %20 of Veracruz Terminal volumes as multi-purpose terminal operator and stevedoring company. Their main operation is, steel and aluminium coils, bulk grain and minerals, containers, vehicles and project cargo. As a stevedoring company they can operate from 6 public docks for a total of 15 positions.

Grain Terminals

Cargill, TMV (Terminal Maritima Veracruz), TCE (Terminales de Cargas Especializadas) owned by ADM are solid grain terminals in the port. They only have import and temporary storage (maximum 2 weeks) capabilities.

Tank Terminals

Vopak and Excellence Sea & Land are tank terminals with ability to receive vegetable oil shipments as they do not have the equipment to heat pipeline connecting the tanks to the berthing pier. They have the capability to store mineral oils and petroleum and chemicals in the same facility. Mexican National Petroleum company PEMEX also has a tank storage terminal within the port facilities.

Vehicle Terminals

CPV and SSA are private vehicle terminal operators using public berths for loading and unloading operations.

Port Performance

Main limitation for Veracruz Port is low port draft which is 12,5 meters with high-tide and in average terminals operate with 10-11 meters drafts excluding Hutchison Icave which 12,8 meters draft shall be considered. Current port has 18 positions and when new port will be operational, this will increase to 53 positions and port will be able to receive vessels with 15 meters draft which can be increased till 20 meters in the future. All container lines calling Hutchison Terminal are assigned with berthing windows. Max Panamax size vessel are being operated. Regarding grain exports, only option is to use public berths and stevedoring companies that as grain terminals are equipped only for receiving from the vessel. Below mentioned cargo handling volumes are excluding containerized volumes.

Seasonal Constraints


Time Frame

Rainy Season


From June to October

Major Import Campaigns


Other Comments

Handling Figures for 2017

Vessel Calls

Container Traffic (TEUs)


Handling Figures Bulk and Break Bulk for 2017

Bulk (MT)


Break bulk (MT)

1,884,128 excluding vehicles

Discharge Rates and Terminal Handling Charges

For information on port rates and charges, please see the following links:

APIVER (Port Authority):

Hutchison ICAVE:


Berthing Specifications

Type of Berth


Length (m)

Maximum Draft (m)


Conventional Berth



8.2 – 11.2

Container Berth




Hutchison Icave

Silo Berth



10.5 – 11.5

Dock 5 & Dock 8, all with fixed conveyor belts

Berthing Tugs


Water Barges


General Cargo Handling Berths

Cargo Type

Berth Identification

Imports - Bagged Cargo

For containers: Hutchison Icave Berth and Dock 6 and Dock 7S, for break bulk Dock 1 / 2 / 4

Exports - Bagged Cargo

For containers: Hutchison Icave Berth and Dock 6 and Dock 7S, for break bulk Dock 1 / 2 / 4

Imports and Exports - RoRo

Dock 1 / 6 / 7E

Other Imports

Port Handling Equipment

The port equipment is managed by the terminal operators and stevedoring companies.



Total Quantity and Capacity Available

Comments on Current Condition and Actual Usage

Dockside Crane


Container Gantries



Hutchison Icave

Mobile Cranes


5 mobile cranes

  • (1) Gottwald GHMK-7608 150 Tons
  • (1) Gottwald GHMK-7608 140 Tons
  • (1) Gottwald GHMK-6507 120 Tons
  • (2) Gottwald GHMK-6407 100 Tons





RoRo Tugmaster (with Trailer)


Grain Elevator with Bagging Machines








Container Facilities

Please see following link with access to photos and additional documentation: Mexico Photos and Documents


Hutchison Icave:




20 and 40 ft

Container Facilities Available

Hutchison ICAVE Container Terminal with 42 hectares total area (valid till Mid 2019 then they will move to new port area), 31,000 TEUS static capacity, 1600 meters shunting connection 2 railway spurs and Terminal Santa Fe which is an additional 16 hectares additional storage area outside the port with railway connection.

CICE Multi-purpose terminal 112 hectares total area with 6,050 TEUs static capacity using Public Berth No. 7 for container vessel operations.

Container Freight Station (CFS)

14,600 m2 total

  • Hutchison Icave: 7,800 m2
  • CICE: 6,800 m2

Refrigerated Container Stations


Other Capacity Details


Daily Take Off Capacity
(Containers per Day)


Number of Reefer Stations
(Connection Points)

409 total

  • Hutchison Icave: 284
  • CICE: 125

Emergency Take-off Capacity


Off take Capacity of Gang Shift
(Containers per Shift)


Customs Guidance

Mexican Customs Authority Servicio de Administracion Tributaria (SAT)
Address Carretera a San Juan de Ulúa Km. 3.5 Interior del Recinto Fiscal, Col. Centro C.P. 91700, Veracruz, Ver.
Working Hours Monday to Friday, 08:00-18:00 / Saturday 08:00-14:00
Average Customs Declaration Time 125 minutes (2017), 104 minutes (2018)
Customs Declarations

Import: 399,005, Export: 106,105 (2017)

Import: 261644, Export 85,159 (Jan-Sept 2018)

Above figures are covering all mode of transports. Please see below September 2018 SAT Strategic Analysis. (In Spanish)

As for the Mexican Customs, the export of goods has few requirements. A Tax Invoice (including the CFDI with Foreign Trade Complement) must be provided, or, in cases where there is no purchase, a declaration where the merchandise value and its description and quantity are manifested. Also, you must hire a customs broker to fill out an export customs declaration.

Very few products require Mexican official permits or standards at the point of export (although there are exceptions such as tequila, mezcal, or avocado), or pay a different tax to the simple customs processing fee. In the case of exporters of wines and liquors, it is necessary to register in the sectorial census of corresponding exporters to avoid payment of the IEPS corresponding to the exported goods. Other goods, such as metals and jewellery, also need to be registered.

Some points to consider are the following:

  • Wooden Emblems (boxes, pallets, crates). International standards force exporters to products that go with wooden packaging. The international standard has been adopted in Mexico through the Official Mexican Standard NOM-044-SEMARNAT-2004.
  • Certifications of Mexican Authorities. The export of various products, especially food, and products derived from the vegetable or animals require certifications from Mexican authorities for foreign authorities to allow their entry into the country. Especially, SAGARPA, SEMARNAT and the Ministry of Health carry out certifications with international validity in the areas of their competence.
  • Certificates of origin. To be able to benefit from the International Treaties that Mexico has signed with commercial partners, it is required to deliver to its foreign client the Certificate of Origin corresponding to the corresponding Treaty.

Terminal Information

Multipurpose Terminal

There is only 1 multi-purpose terminal operator. CICE. They don’t have private berth but a berth is assigned for their container operation, for the remaining type of business, they are using all available public berths. 

For more information:CICE 2018 Presentation.

Vehicle Terminal Operators and their webpages are as follows:

CPV (Corporacion Portuario de Veracruz) :

SSA Mexico :

Grain and Bulk Handling

There are no bagging facilities and there are no grain terminals with vessel loading capacity. Cargill, TCE (ADM) and TMV are solid grain terminals, Vopak and Excellence Sea & Land are liquid bulk terminals. Grain Terminals are operating from reserved berths with fixed conveyor belts and scoopers or suction units for unloading. Storage units in the grain terminals are only for temporary storage for periods no longer than 2 weeks as they are not equipped with aerification units. All terminals are connected to both railway and road network. Bulk or break-bulk grain export is possible only using public berths and stevedoring companies.





Main Storage Terminal

In addition to storage capacity provided by previously mentioned container / multi-purpose / grain terminals, please find following warehousing companies operating in the port area.

SEMAVE:    Grain and general cargo storage.

CIF:  Container consolidation / deconsolidation, refrigeration plugs for reefer containers, container and general cargo storage, labelling, tagging, palletizing.

GOLMEX:  Container consolidation / deconsolidation, refrigeration plugs for reefer containers, container and general cargo storage, labelling, tagging, palletizing.

FRIOPUERTO: Temperature controlled storage, loading, unloading and transhipment, reefer container electric plugs, phytosanitary inspection and certification.

Storage Type

Number of Storage Facilities

Area (m2)

Bagged Cargo

N/A Only Container Terminal

Refrigerated Cargo

5 (2 Terminals and 3 Storage facilities)

2,500 m2 cold chambers in 1 storage facility (FRIOPUERTO). For other terminals, reefer containers need to be considered as storage units.

General Cargo

4 (2 Terminals and 2 Storage facilities)

Above 20,000 m2 as information for all storage areas is not available.


Public berths and stevedoring activities via private companies is a major operation in Port of Veracruz. Such stevedoring companies are able to perform solid grain/container/project cargo/ Ro-Ro/general cargo loading/unloading activities.

Hinterland Information 


 There are 2 railway operators (KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN MEXICO / FERROMEX & FERROSUR) connecting port to Mexican and U.S. destinations. Main clients are car factories followed by mineral and alimentation grain with more focus on import volumes.

Port Security


ISPS Compliant


Current ISPS Level
(Level 1 = Normal, Level 2 = Heightened, Level 3 = Exceptional)

ISPS Level 1

Police Boats


Fire Engines


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