The Administración Portuaria Integral (API) de Lázaro Cárdenas is the port authority responsible for the Puerto de Lázaro Cárdenas. The mission of API Lázaro Cárdenas is to stimulate industrial investment in the Puerto de Lázaro Cárdenas, consolidate services, and generate business opportunities. The Puerto de Lázaro Cárdenas hopes to become the most important industrial port in Latin America.
In 2008, the Puerto de Lázaro Cárdenas supported 1158 vessels carrying 20.9 million tons of cargo and over 524 thousand TEUs of containerized cargo through the port, including 15.4 million tons of foreign trade and 5.5 million tons of cabotage. Foreign trade included 10.5 million tons of imports and 4.9 million tons of exports. Within foreign cargoes, the major imports were iron ore pellets, coal, iron alloy, and gasoline/diesel. Major foreign exports included iron, automobiles, wire rod, and billets.
The modern Puerto de Lázaro Cárdenas is fully-equipped to support industrial and commercial activities within the port. It is the only port in México with an access channel of 18 meters depth and a turning basin with 16.5 meters depth. It can receive the largest vessels (to 165 thousand tons) and all types of cargo.
The estuary offers 7.6 thousand meters of access channels with depths ranging from 14.5 to 16.5 meters at average low tide. Anchorage is south of the port covering over 1.5 thousand hectares at depths from 30 to 50 meters. The Puerto de Lázaro Cárdenas has two turning basins 700 and 500 meters in diameter with depth of 16.5 meters.
The Puerto de Lázaro Cárdenas has 21.8 meters of waterfront and 3.7 thousand meters of wharves with depths ranging from 6 to 16.5 meters and the ability to receive vessels from 20 to 150 thousand DWT.
The Puerto de Lázaro Cárdenas contains five public terminals and four private terminals. Public terminals specialize in grain, containers, and multiple uses. The Grain Terminal covers 15.1 thousand square meters. The Container Terminal on Isla Enmedio covers 154.1 thousand square meters, and the Container Terminal on Isla Cayacal covers 480 thousand square meters. Two Multiple-Use Terminals cover 36.2 and 26.7 thousand square meters.
Private terminals in the Puerto de Lázaro Cárdenas handle minerals, fluids, coal, and fertilizers. The Coal Terminal covers 1.2 million square meters, and the Fluids Terminal covers 1.8 million square meters. The Fertilizers Terminal covers 1.5 million square meters. The Minerals Terminal covers 60.3 thousand square meters.