American Honda Motor is shifting 80% of its current vehicle import operations from the Port of San Diego to a new facility in Richmond, California, making it the company’s third West Coast port facility in the US.
The move, which will take place from Spring 2010, is designed to more efficiently serve Honda and Acura dealers in Northern California and will support greater rail capacity for transporting vehicles dealerships in the east of the country.
The new 80-acre facility, known as the Point Potrero Auto Center, will allow it to reduce shipments of vehicles by road from southern California to the north of the state, helping to cut fuel costs and reduce CO2 emissions.
The deal is a major gain for the port’s automotive processing provider, Auto Warehousing Company, further justifying its recent $27m upgrade to the dock and rail yard. The company also processes imported Kia and Hyundai vehicles there.
The Point Potrero Auto Center will also support efficient eastbound rail shipments critical to Honda's overall logistics network. As Dennis Manns, assistant vice president of logistics for American Honda, told Automotive Logistics in September, “Moving [to the Port of Richmond] gives us new options for rail and truck operations and the option to expand our port footprint. [One reason for moving] is that Honda is committed to increasing its rail footprint.” (Read more in the October-December edition of Finished Vehicle Magazine starting on page 28).
The company will retain a certain amount of volume through San Diego to maintain presence in southern California.
Speaking on the announcement of the move Manns said: "This additional port not only ensures future rail and port capacity, but it also has a net environmental benefit, a key goal for Honda in all of its operations."
The company says the port expansion is estimated to eliminate 1,720 truck trips from San Diego to northern California, totalling more than 1.5m miles of truck travel each year. This will result in an annual reduction of approximately 3,200 metric tons of CO2 from American Honda`s logistics operations in the region.
Besides the ports in Richmond and San Diego, American Honda operates a port facility in Portland, Oregon.