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Mexico expects faster fuel transportation to drain inventories 2019-05-17

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 fuel tanker trailer 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 and better security can increase fuel distribution by road to 50 percent of the 1.27 million barrels per day (bpd) of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel Mexico consumes, compared with a current average of about 30 percent.


“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 fuel tanker trailer for sale 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.


Large convoys of gasoline trucks are now a common sight along Mexican highways. The vehicles are given a military escort since Lopez Obrador moved thousands of soldiers and police to supervise and protect refining and distribution.


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.


Some 150,000 bpd of gasoline are lost due to theft, according to Reuters calculations based on official data. The problem caused a $3 billion loss for Pemex last year.


3,500 fuel tanker trailer for sale