Porsche and Honda have recently chosen to change ports of entry to the US in the interest of greater efficiency and cost savings.
Porsche Cars North America has moved its operations from the port of Baltimore to the port of Davisville, which handles finished vehicles exclusively. According to the company, the decision to switch ports was made because it would streamline Porsche deliveries with VW Transport, which uses Davisville for VW and Audi deliveries.
Porsche vehicles are typically shipped alongside VW and Audi vehicles by VW Transport. “The efficiency on the shipping side comes from VWT no longer having to make a port call to the port of Baltimore,” said Porsche spokesman Tony Fouladpour, “as Porsche was the only brand currently going into Baltimore. All ports are now aligned for the group, but the decision was not made solely for this reason,” he added.
Just under 400 vehicles were delivered in the first shipment on September 13th including Panamera and Cayenne models, but Porsche expects to ship around 11,000 of its vehicles through the port per year on top of the imports it makes through ports of entry in Georgia, Texas and California.
“The volume of vehicles imported through the northeast port is roughly 40% of the overall US annual volume,” Fouladpour told Automotive Logistics News.
The company will use North Atlantic Distribution as its processing partner at Davisville and retain Accurate Auto Carriers for trucking, which it also used for transport from Baltimore.
“Accurate was selected to handle the northeast port as part of a comprehensive business review last Fall,” added Fouladpour. “Accurate has capabilities in the northeast, and they were glad to transition to the port of Davisville with Porsche's business and in continuing the partnership between the two companies.”
Despite the loss of traffic through Baltimore however, the port has recently reported an increase in automotive of 26% in the past fiscal year compared with the same period in the previous year and it remains the second biggest finished vehicle processor in the US with more than 350,000 vehicles processed in 2009.
Earlier this year, Hyundai-Kia also announced that it would be switching imports from the port of Baltimore to use the port of Philadelphia (read more here)
On the West Coast, meanwhile, American Honda has returned to the port of Richmond (pictured), which is currently making $37m worth of improvements including a new rail yard, road works, improved berths and the additional two-mile route allowing direct access from Canal Boulevard through the port to the waterfront.
The port of Richmond and terminal operator Auto Warehousing Company formally opened the new 40-hectare automotive distribution facility at the Point Potrero Marine Terminal last week and a ceremony was held that included Richmond City Council and BNSF Railway.
Richmond port is in the top 20 automotive importers in the US according to the Port Import Export Reporting Service (PIERS) and is positioned to grow further with the recent upgrade of the rail system that allows cars to be carried on triple-decker rail cars anywhere East of the Mississippi and into Canada. The new business will be welcome to a port that experienced a 50% drop in vehicle throughput in 2009.
Honda will move around 145,000 vehicles a year through the port and using it means the vehicles will not have to be trucked from San Diego, reportedly saving 3,200 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually. Honda has been using San Diego for imports since it relinquished the use of Richmond in the 1990s. It also uses Portland, Oregon as an entry point.
TransDevelopment Group, a specialised developer of transportation facilities, designed and built the $40m project at the port under contract with terminal operator Auto Warehousing. TransDevelopment also managed project planning, environmental permitting and development coordination with the BNSF and neighbouring industrial companies.