The Port of Coatzacoalcos, located in the area called Istmo de Tehuantepec, was founded by Federal Decree on October 8, 1825. The history of its development is intertwined with major events that have influenced the formation of the region. In 1858 the sea route New Orleáns-Minatitlán was covered for the first time by the ship Quaker City and, in 1896, the works for the dredging of the bar and the channel entrance to the Port began. 1905 marks the start for the construction of docks and warehouses.
At that time the port works were related to other equally important projects in the region, as there was the construction of the transisthmian railway, negotiated since 1857 and the establishment of the first refinery in Minatitlan in 1906. In 1908 the area Coatzacoalcos - Minatitlán, could have been considered as a privileged economic area, which was identified fundamentally with oil and trade activities.
The Mexican Revolution in 1910 and the start of operations in the Panama Canal in 1914 caused the decline of the trade via railway between Coatzacoalcos and Salina Cruz. However, Coatzacoalcos was able to maintain its level and economic importance, thanks to the oil and agricultural activities.
Later, once the armed conflict was finished and the constructive phase of the new regime had begun, what stands out is the inauguration of the oil pipeline Minatitlán - Salina Cruz and the new refinery in Minatitlan in 1939 and 1956, respectively, as well as the construction of the first berth in the basin of Pajaritos in 1968. The company Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) was in charge for all of this.
In the seventies, the same company carries out its first export shipment of crude oil (1974) and through the construction of specialized container terminals, the multimodal transisthmian service between the ports of Coatzacoalcos and Salina Cruz began in 1976.
In the next decade, the following activities stand out: the reconstruction of the fiscal piers, the construction of pier No. 8 and the completion of the petrochemical complexes called Cangrejera and Morelos.
The closing down of the company Servicios Portuarios del Istmo de Tehuantepec S. A. De C. V., in 1993 and the creation of the new authority Administración Portuaria Integral de Coatzacoalcos, S.A de C.V. (API) on July 25, 1994, are considered important events in the last decade of the last century.
Four years later, with a new focus on the port management in the country, the port of Coatzacoalcos reaches its peak in the handling of cargo throughout its history, exceeding 3 million tons.
Evolution of the Port before the creation of the API
In 1900, the breakwaters of the Coatzacoalcos Port with a length of 1287 meters were built.
1942: The construction of the new lighthouse and the house next to it for the lighthouse keeper began and finished in 1943. It was inaugurated on June 1 of the same year, exactly when the first day of the National Marine was celebrated.
In 1972, the institution Servicios Portuarios del Istmo deTehuantepec S. A. De C. V. was founded by presidential decree on March 2, to operate the port of Coatzacoalcos.
1975 The sulfur terminal of Azufrera Panamericana, S.A. de C.V. and the cement silos of Cementos Anahuac, S.A. de C.V. were built.
The multimodal transisthmian service begins its operation with the construction of specialized container terminals in SalinaCruz, Oaxaca and Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz.
The construction of specialized container terminals begins in Coatzacoalcos and Salina Cruz.
1980 The decentralized organization Servicio Multimodal Transístmico (Multimodal Transisthmian Service) was created.
1982 The Multimodal Transisthmian Service in charge of SPITSA was put into operation.
1982 The fiscal piers are reconstructed, berth No. 8 is built and the viaducts between each berth section, the Navy berth (3ª. Flotilla Sur) and PEMEX´s berth for pipelines are being paved.
On October 15, 1982 a new lighthouse was inaugurated, officially named as Torre de control de Tráfico Marítimo (maritime traffic control tower), built by the Subsecretaría de Puertos y Marina Mercante (Undersecretary for Ports and Merchant Navy) and the Dirección General de Señalamiento Marítimo (Directorate-General for Maritime Signals) dependent on the Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes (Ministry of Communications and Transportation).
1983 The Port of Coatzacoalcos purchased the first ship to shore container crane in the country, as well as equipment for the handling of containers in the yard, composed of cranes frame, fork lift truck, tractor, platforms.
1985 In this year, the port already has open storage areas, 15 yards, 6 warehouses, 32 tanks and 2 silos, thereby achieving a better efficiency.
By 1989, because of the erratic volume of container cargo, Puertos Mexicanos (Mexican Ports) mobilize the crane and the container carrying equipment to the port of Veracruz.
1993 The new Port Law is decreed. The company Servicios Portuarios del Istmo de Tehuantepec S. A. De C. V. is closed.
1993 The company PROTEXA-BURLINGTON begins its operation with the trainship terminal.