San Antonio...Expanding Global Trade Route?

Forecast In a situation where retail sales are down for an undetermined amount of time, manufacturing and distribution lines are ultimately affected. San Antonio had already begun to reposition itself in the logistics industry prior to the economic slump. Therefore, as companies evaluate cost-effectiveness, the Alamo City may be the answer. The new Union Pacific Intermodal became fully operational in February. Combined with the Port of San Antonio, this will increase the overall capacity of products that can be moved in and out of the Alamo City, which opens the door for future distribution lines. The logistics operations supported by UP will aide in reducing distribution costs for retailers, manufacturers and ultimately consumers. Additional routes from overseas are being explored including Port Lazaro Cardenas, the only port in Mexico with water depths and access channel to accommodate the newest cargo ships. It is also the only protected harbor that can receive ships up to 165 thousand tons of displacement. Trade through the port in Mexico is expected to increase as Lazaro Cardena is only 925 miles from San Antonio versus 1,435 miles to the Long Beach deep water port, making travel time via rail substantially faster as well. In the past, China and other southeast Asia countries manufactured products destined for the United States and the lower labor costs off-set the expenses associated with longer supply lines. Today, the economic prosperity in China has resulted in growing labor costs and more national consumption, which will continue to drive up the cost of imported goods. One of the opportunities to be considered is relocating manufacturing operations to Mexico which could soon provide a lower labor cost alternative, combined with shorter supply lines, potentially better profits and lower costs to consumers. As trade routes continue to expand, San Antonio will be one of the first cities to benefit.