The Brazilian port of Paranaguá handled 230,000 finished vehicles in 2011, which was 27% higher than in 2010. The performance has attracted the attention of technicians working for the local subsidiary of Nissan and, as a result, managers from plants in Japan have visited the port to study the logistics flow of vehicles and find out more about the import/export process there.
According to the international operations coordinator of Renault-Nissan in Brazil, Patrick Silveira, the Japanese visitors were curious to see how, on occasion, the number of finished vehicles moving through the existing port facilities could be 30% higher than had been the case in 2010.
Superintendent of the ports of Paranaguá and Antonina, Airton Vidal Maron, noted that existing facilities in Paranaguá would not have been sufficient to accommodate available volume, so the port had had to find alternative areas in which to store vehicles.
“We have improved our internal logistics and also dedicated new areas for vehicle storage that weren't specifically designed for that purpose,” he explained.
As Automotive Logistics News reported last year, Nissan was struggling to find available port capacity at Paranaguá for both vehicle imports and parts destined for its production facility in the city of São José dos Pinhais. A lack of available space had meant the manufacturer, which is expanding the plant and investing $1.5 billion in a new facility in Resende, had to negotiate with the port of Vitória, in neighbouring Espírito Santo, to discharge consignments of Sentra, Tiida, Versa and March models.
In part, the need to store more vehicles is a function of deteriorating trade relations with neighbouring Argentina, which resulted in Brazil no longer automatically granting licences for the import of either finished vehicles or component parts as of May 2011. This was in retaliation for similar measures adopted by Argentina in February. This has resulted in increased bureaucracy in clearing customs, which meant that vehicles could require up to 90 days to pass through the port. Previously, this took no more than 10 days.
Import problems from Argentina also affected Fiat in November when the Capuaba off-dock storage area at Villa Velha near the port of Vitória, in Brazil, was forced to store 5,150 Fiat cars inbound from Argentina. Here they stayed until it became possible to move them by road to Betim, in the state of Minas Gerais.
The 30,000m² area is regularly used to store 1,200 imported vehicles and 2,500 export units, which usually results in 2,000 vehicles being stored in any 45-day period. However, the need to find areas in which to hold the Argentinean imports has effectively clogged the facility.