Mexico expects faster fuel transportation to drain inventories
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s freight transport association expects a contingency plan aimed at speeding up gasoline distribution that began over the weekend to help ease bottlenecks at terminals, where fuel inventories have been accumulating in recent weeks.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s crackdown on rampant fuel theft has caused long lines of angry motorists waiting to fill up their tanks since a handful of Mexico’s most important fuel pipelines were closed to avoid further losses.
The switch to more road distribution has slowed down deliveries to gas stations as crowded fuel terminals owned by state-run Pemex’s [PEMX.UL] create bottlenecks with tanker ships waiting to discharge imports at several ports.
The National Chamber of Freight Transport expects faster truck loading, direct deliveries
“This is a contingency plan for using existing assets to achieve a larger capacity of (fuel) distribution,” said chamber President Enrique Gonzalez.
Transporters have asked Pemex to speed up loading at terminals to a maximum of four hours from 8-18 hours currently. Before Lopez Obrador’s anti-theft push, each truck would spend up to 72 hours at Pemex’s distribution centers, Gonzalez said.
The chamber represents companies with a combined fleet of 3,500 double-tank fuel trucks capable of loading up to 62,000 liters each.
The contingency plan also contemplates direct delivery from terminals to gas stations, without passing through Pemex distribution centers.
Mexico’s central region, including the capital, has been most affected by the shortages since a key pipeline from Pemex’s Salamanca refinery was shut in late December.
Lopez Obrador’s offensive against gasoline robbers marks his first attempt to tackle entrenched corruption since taking office on Dec. 1.
As of Jan. 14, the number of tankers waiting to discharge imported fuel at Mexican ports grew to 48 compared with 39 at the end of last week, according to