Mexico Blockages to Roads, Rails Have Already Cost $53 Million

(Bloomberg) -- Teachers’ protests in the central state of Michoacan in Mexico have virtually detained all shipping by railroad in some parts of the country.

Eleven days of protests have led to two hundred halted trains, Ferrocarril Mexicano SA spokeswoman Lourdes Aranda said in an interview with El Financiero Bloomberg TV on Friday. The delays have cost around 1 billion pesos ($53 million) according to Mexican Railway Association estimates that Aranda cited.

Ferromex has stopped loading trains affecting the supply chain of industries ranging from auto parts, to imported gasoline and grains, Aranda said. A teachers’ union began a strike on Jan. 11, asking for payment of what they say are owed dues and bonuses. They are blocking railroads that connect Mexico City and Guadalajara to two of the countries’ most important ports -- Lazaro Cardenas and Manzanillo.

Around 9,000 containers haven’t moved, including those from Ferromex’s competitor Kansas City Southern.

Cars haven’t been exported for days, Aranda said, and gasoline meant to supply thirsty states like Jalisco hasn’t been imported. "If authorities don’t reach an agreement with them, we’re certain this could have serious repercussions in this month’s economic activity," she said.

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