Thursday, January 18, 2024

Cars and More Cars

 Autoport has hosted ships for two days in a row and expects another tomorrow. The inventory of cars at the facility has appeared thin lately, so this will allow them to build up their inventory of imports. Autoport is owned by CNRail and customarily holds cars and light trucks in storage until they are called for by dealers, then sends them out by truck or train. CN also owns at least one of the large truck companies that specializes in auto transport.

Yesterday, January 17 it was the 7,194 CEU Don Pasquale, a regular caller on Wallenius Wilhelmsen's transatlantic loop. It called here in June, August and October of 2023. When it completed offloading at Autoport yesterday and was moving to Pier 9C to offload RoRo cargo, the next auto carrier, Lake Wanaka was making its way inbound.

 Don Pasquale (left) exits Eastern Passage with Lake Wanaka taking a wide turn round Ives Knoll off PSA Halifax.

Lake Wanaka. a smaller ship with a capacity of 4902 CEU has also been here before, most recently in March and August 2023, and is apparently dedicated to carrying Volkswagen products, loaded in Emden, Germany. The ship remained alongside Autoport over night and sailed late this morning heading for Jacksonville, FL.

A third auto carrier, the 6500 CEU SFL Composer is drifting offshore and is due tomorrow, January 19. It is also arriving from Emden, Volkswagen's export port.

European auto makers are experiencing production problems due to parts shortages from Asia. Some manufacturers have shut down completely as shipments through the Red Sea / Suez route have been delayed or curtailed due to the hostilities. It is therefore inevitable that there will be noticeable shortages of some kinds of cars in North America.

China on the other hand is building new auto carrying ships as it shifts to building entire automobiles. For example Ford is building some new Lincoln models in China for the North American market. With assembly closer to the component manufacturers some of the recent "supply chain" issues may be resolved. 


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