Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


Commerce between the United States and Mexico will continue to grow due to the incremental benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement. This growth, however, will be slowed at least temporarily by the recent Mexican Peso crisis. Ocean transportation currently only moves about 8.5 percent of US-Mexico cargo by value even though it is the most efficient mode of transport over longer distances. This study hypothesized that the underutilized ocean transport sector has captured significant high-growth general cargo that is amenable to containerized transport from the air and/or trucking and rail sectors of the US-Mexico trade. Historical and ex post facto methodologies were utilized to study the subject. Nationalism, corruption, import substitution policies, intense trucking and rail competition, poor shipper recognition, and the marginal attention given to Mexico's port system have all hindered waterborne commerce in the trade. In 1989, however, Mexico began upgrading its transportation infrastructure in earnest. Market entry by liner operators has been increasing as Mexican ports become more efficient. The hypothesis was accepted. A shift-share analysis revealed specific fast-growth general cargoes with long-term potential for capture by maritime transportation.