The Port of Altamira lies on the north-central shores of the Gulf of Mexico, about 383 kilometers south of Mexico’s border with the United States in the State of Tamaulipas. The Port of Altamira is a municipality that contains the cities of Miramar and Altamira as well as several smaller towns. In 2005, over 162 thousand people called the Port of Altamira home, while about 59 thousand lived in the community of Altamira.
The Port of Altamira is the port and industrial center for the region. While the Tampico docks at the Pánuco River handle loose cargoes, the Port of Altamira is the main container port for the State of Tamaulipas. The Port of Altamira has a significant petrochemical industrial sector that contributes many jobs and revenues to the State. Foreign companies like DuPont, BASF, POSCO, and SABIC have plants there.
The town of Altamira was founded in the middle 18th Century by Don Jose de Escandon representing the Spanish Viceroy who was also the Marques de Altamira. The same families settled Tampico and other nearby areas in the following years.
Mexico’s federal government recognized in the 1980s that the Port of Tampico needed to be expanded. However, there was not enough space available. Mexico developed a new deep-water port at Altamira, about 24 kilometers north of Tampico, to supplement the cargo traffic handled by the Port of Tampico.
Today, the Port of Altamira is Mexico’s most important commercial center for petrochemicals. With over three thousand hectares open for development, it has become the country’s gateway for chemical products.