Mazda has made its first direct delivery of Japanese exports to the UK through the port of Bristol. 

First shipment of cars arrive at Bristol Port

The first shipment of cars arrives at Bristol port

On March 28, the Norwegian Car Carriers (NOCC) vessel Atlantic delivered 2,355 cars to Mazda’s new automotive port handling centre within the Bristol Port Company facility at Royal Portbury Docks.  

That delivery will be followed over the next 12 months with a vessel roughly every ten days, each carrying between 1,000-1,200 vehicles. Mazda is importing the models made at its factories in Hiroshima, Miyoshi and Hofu plants. The first direct shipment included cars from across Mazda’s latest 2022 model year range, including the recently updated Mazda CX-5, Mazda3 and Mazda CX-30. 

Mazda’s new vehicle delivery centre in Bristol provides capacity for over 8,000 vehicles and a centre for vehicle inspection and preparation. 

Previously Mazda imported into Europe via Zeebrugge in Belgium and then distributed into regional hubs in the UK. Bristol now becomes the fourth European port into which Mazda is directly delivering vehicles. The other two are Antwerp, also in Belgium, and Barcelona in Spain. However, the new Mazda2 Hybrid, built in France, will begin arriving in Bristol later in the spring, shipping from Zeebrugge. 

“The team at Mazda UK and our colleagues at Mazda Logistics Europe have worked really hard to update our logistics, port and stocking processes, and this new direct Japan to UK operation will bring significant benefits to our dealers and customers,” said Peter Allibon, sales director for Mazda Motor UK. “Our dealers will have access to a much wider stock choice within our new central compound, which ultimately provides an optimised logistics journey to support customer choice and delivery times.” 

Allibon went on to say that the new UK compound at Bristol will allow for a wider range of available stock, with a 10-14 day delivery window to a dealership. 

“Bristol Port is delighted to have been selected by Mazda as its sole import centre into the UK,” said Tony Dent, director of automotive trade at The Bristol Port Company.  

“With our first direct shipment of Mazda vehicles having been discharged at Portbury Dock, we look forward to establishing an ongoing and successful association with Mazda. As the main UK port for cars from the Far East, Bristol Port is in a prime position to provide the ideal logistics solution.” 

Last year Bristol port handled around 409,000 vehicles. Mazda joins carmakers including Honda and Toyota using the port, as well as Renault, Stellantis and Jaguar Land Rover. 

Read more about developments at the UK vehicle handling ports, including Bristol, in our latest digital edition of Automotive Logistics and Finished Vehicle Logistics magazine