OJO  \ o-ho \
An Eye on Mexico
Audaxia Newsletter
December 2021


Kenton SchaeferFor Audaxia Logística
Welcome to OJO. Well, it’s that time of year again. Many of us are firmly set in holiday mode now, and that must be a good thing. More than ever we look forward to spending time with the people we love in the places we care about. And more than ever, I feel we need that. A time-out from variants, inflation, port congestion, and supply-chain issues. A momentary step back from politics, economics, and conflict. And a step toward joy, happiness, and fun. We hope you find yourselves cheerful and content with those that fill your lives with good energy and good spirits.

The final stages of 2021 have been an interesting period in shipping, in Mexico, and around the world. But before we get to that we wanted to firstly consider the holidays, and specifically the month of December by highlight a truly Mexican experience - the “Posadas”. Our team has written a brief on what they are, and why they are so important to Mexican culture. And if you do business in Mexico or Latin America during this time of year, you could certainly be exposed to this most joyous environment.

Shipping continues to be volatile, and Mexico is certainly no stranger to that. But in the presence of such volatility, we all just have to move forward. We’re very excited to see a renewed focus on the Merida Initiative between the United States and Mexico which addresses security concerns, crime, and instability. We believe it’s an area that needs more and more attention as it can be such a strong source of uncertainty when doing business in Mexico. We hear those concerns about instability in the country all the time, and we certainly experience it ourselves in many different forms. But again, we all just have to move forward. We have more on that below, but we think it’s good news that should be communicated to our international clients.

In this issue, we primarily want to say thank you for your business. Thank you for trusting us with your cargo and shipping needs in both the United States and Mexico. We are truly grateful for your confidence and business. And we sincerely wish you a wonderful holiday season. Bienvenidos a OJO.
Kenton Schaefer
Schaefer Stevedoring
Business Development 
& Marketing

For Audaxia Logística
A Schaefer Americas company

Email me directly.

This Month's Highlights

Mexico to reinstate temporary tariffs on steel imports in 2022

Starting in June 2022 with a gradual retraction by the end of 2024, Mexico will reinstate a 15% import tariff on some types of steel. The decree aims to limit unfair imports and will apply only to countries without a trade agreement with Mexico.
ArcelorMittal to produce first steel coil in Mexico in December

ArcelorMittal Mexico announced that they’ll produce their first hot-rolled steel coil this December at their new mill located in the Port of Lazaro Cardenas. Mexico currently imports an estimated 60% of it’s needs for such material, and this new production will directly impact those imports.
Mexican aircraft to be mass-produced in 2022

The state of Guanajuato aims to become an aeronautical hub in Mexico. Governor Diego Sinhue announced an important milestone toward this goal by introducing a Mexican made plane by Horizontec Company - a two-seater sport aircraft named Halcon 2.
US and Mexico begin work on new security framework

Mexican President Lopez Obrador and US President Biden have started a new era of bilateral security cooperation that seeks to move beyond the Merida Initiative with a new effort called ”The U.S.-Mexico Bicentennial Framework for Security, Public Health and Safe Communities” and suggests a widening of scope beyond the battle cooperation against drug cartels.
Vicente Fernández, a Mexican musical icon for generations, dies at 81

One of the last Mexican pop culture superstars has died. Vicente Fernandez was a larger- than-life singer of romantic rancheras and timeless folk anthems. His unique voice filled arenas, “palenques”, “cantinas”, radio stations, and movie soundtracks. He leaves behind an impressive catalogue of songs embedded in the musical psyche of the country. This obituary profile is an introduction into his life and career.
Schaefer Stevedoring awarded 2021 Chairman’s Award by Port of Brownsville

The Port of Brownsville presented Schaefer Stevedoring with its 2021 Chairman’s Award in honor of the company’s achievements throughout its 30 years of operation.
BNEF: steel industry set to pivot to hydrogen in US$278 billion green push

A report from research firm BloombergNEF suggests that by 2050 (with a $278 billion USD investment) we could see a major shift in steel production to get to a point of almost zero carbon emissions. As the industry is responsible for around 7% of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions every year (one of the world’s most polluting industries), greater innovations in hydrogen and recycling could play a central role in reducing emissions from that production.
How car shortages are putting the world’s economy at risk

A closer look at how and why 3% of the global economic output is affected by the auto industry, and how the livelihoods of millions of workers around the world are at the mercy of supply-chain conditions brought on by the forced curtailing of production in places like Detroit, Stuttgart, and Shanghai.
Supply chain chaos has moved from seaports to airports

Chaos brought on by the supply chain nightmare is now spreading to airports. The pandemic induced crisis brings to light that airports (just as seaports) are short-staffed and riddled with an inadequate and aging infrastructure as they struggle to handle an onslaught of Christmas cargo.
The supply-chain crisis is creating a rare opportunity for truck drivers

The shipping industry has long complained of a truck driver shortage, and this is especially true now during the retail crunch of the Covid pandemic. But port truckers are organizing like never before to demand a piece of record revenues in retail and shipping.


US Imports for Consumption of Monitored Steel
  September '21/YTD September '20/YTD
Country Quantity in MT* Variation*
Canada 689,911 +94.36%
Mexico 315,243 +96.25%
Brazil 377,808 +2,002.55%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau 
* Metric tons

HRC Spot Price Mexico
Price per MT * % Monthly % YTD
1,615 ** -0.31% 60.70%

Source: Reporte Acero
* As of December 14th 2021
** U.S. dollars per metric ton

Exchange Rate: Mexican Peso
Currency 30 Day
30 Day
🇺🇸 1 USD 20.92 MXN 0.69%
🇪🇺 1 EUR 23.83 MXN 0.71%
🇨🇳 1 CNY 3.27 MXN 0.69%
🇯🇵 1 JPY 0.18 MXN 0.75%
🇬🇧 1 GBP 28.08 MXN 0.48%


Jorge Elizondo: Sculpting Monterrey’s Identity

Jorge Elizondo (born 1953) is one of Monterrey’s most renowned living artists with both national and international exposure for a body of work which is felt to blend naturally with the urban landscape of Monterrey’s industrial DNA. Working mostly with marble, bronze, and steel, he has shaped these materials into beautiful abstract reflections of his surroundings over a 4 decade long career.

In 2011, during the Marco museum’s 20th anniversary (one of Monterrey’s most esteemed cultural institutions) held a retrospective of his work as a testament to his influence and legacy.

Monterrey is a city surrounded by a gorgeous landscape filled with rugged mountains and green hills. A landscape which has been a continuous inspiration to Mr. Elizondo as well as countless other artists. EJE (Estudio Jorge Elizondo) is located in the La Huasteca region just outside of the northern capital city within a spectacular natural strip of rocky mountains often traversed by the local climbing community. His workshop has helped produce an impressive set of large urban sculptures that are now an intricate part of Monterrey’s visual identity, with three pieces standing out strongly for their importance: “Marcador Uno: Equinoccios y Solsticios” (Marker One: Equinoxes and Solstices, 1991) is located in one of the Center of the Arts’ gardens in Parque Fundidora (highlighted in our November issue); “Entropía” (Entropy, 2017) is the most emblematic sculpture at UDEM, one of the most prestigious private universities in Mexico; and “Nube” (Cloud, 2007), is a large horizontal steel and cement sculpture (72 ft high x 10 ft wide) visible to millions of commuters as it sits beside the Santa Catarina River.

Other large sculptural works include: “Sol Poniente” (Setting Sun, 2010), a massive red colored steel sculpture that rises 75 ft from the ground at GONHER Industrial Park, in Santa Catarina; “Canto a la Luz” (Sing to the Light, 2012) sits in a garden at Tec de Monterrey, the highest ranking private university in Mexico; and “Río Yangtse” (Yangtze River, 2012), a yellow colored steel sculpture located in Wuhan, China.

If you happen to notice any of Mr. Elizondo’s work in Mexico or abroad, we hope you will consider Monterrey when thinking of what that certain piece is. The city and it’s industrial heritage have been instrumental, and a deep influence, in all of his work.

The Mexican Posada Explained

Many of us that do business in Mexico this time of year might have come to hear about the “Posada”. We wish to summarize its meaning and importance to Mexican culture by firstly citing a recent national survey (conducted in 2020) which showed that 77% of the total population of Mexico consider themselves Catholic - roughly 97.8 million people. And although there has been a 5% declined in comparison to a survey made 10 years ago, it still paints a country with deep rooted traditions in Catholicism.

From December 16th to the 24th, Mexicans (along with many other Latin Americans) begin a 9-day festivity just before Christmas and call it “Las Posadas”. The “Posada”, which literally means lodging or accommodation, has a deeper meaning referring to the inn from the Nativity story, when Mary and Joseph took a 9-day journey to get to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus.

During the “Posadas”, Mexicans will host gatherings with family, friends, and work colleagues, to represent the hospitality and kindness described in the Catholic story, while also becoming a time for parties and celebration. In a good “Posada” there would be plenty of food and drink such as tamales and ‘antojitos’ (Mexican snacks), as well as warm punch served with “tejocotes” - a fruit of the Hawthorn tree which resembles crab apples. The parties will also have “piñatas” shaped in the form of stars filled with candy and fruits (traditionally cane, guava, apple and peanuts) which are struck open by blindfolded hitters. Additionally, people will walk their neighborhoods while carrying candles and sparklers as they sing Christmas carols as if they were asking for accommodation as in the Nativity story. And those same people might take home an “aguinaldo” (or “bolo”) which is a little bag of candy that host’s hand out to guests at the end of the Posada.

So, if you’re invited to a party in Mexico in December, you may well be attending a Posada. Some Posadas follow the tradition to the letter, and other take a more relax and contemporary approach. Either one is great fun and yet another unique experience in Mexico culture.

Now Hiring

Port Operations Manager – Monterrey, Mexico

Currently seeking candidates with shipping experience, specifically port operations. Manager would supervise vessel discharge along the Pacific and Gulf coasts of Mexico, and possibly the United States and abroad (Asia & Latin America). Must have the ability and knowledge to skillfully negotiate with stevedores, truck lines, warehousers, and shipping companies. Customs knowledge preferred. Must communicate and present oneself professionally including email and documentation exchange. Spanish, English, and industry contacts required. Preferably based out of Monterrey, Mexico but open to other scenarios. Travel within Mexico, the United States, and possibly abroad (Asia & Latin America). Passport required. International applicants welcomed.
Customer Service Representative/Account Manager – Monterrey, Mexico

Currently seeking candidates with customer service and account management experience. New hire would be assigned key accounts to manage shipping and port related matters, control inventories, and attend to clients. Must understand port operations, warehousing, and trucking within Mexico. Customs knowledge preferred. Spanish and English required. Industry contacts preferred. Based out of Monterrey, Mexico. Travel within Mexico and United States. Passport required. International applicants welcomed.
Audaxia Logística
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