The largest Japanese company and the (interim) second biggest automaker in the world, Toyota, is seeking to have shipments of autos redirected to the Dalian and Shanghai ports away from Tianjin, which has been hit by last week’s massive blasts.
Tianjin, China’s main auto import terminal is suffering from indefinite disruption of its operations after the incredible blasts last week, which have incurred a heavy human and material toll. Toyota, according to a top Beijing-based company executive, is now mulling to divert the shipments of vehicles to other ports. According to research firm IHS Automotive, the port of Tianjin is months away from returning to normal port operations and numerous carmakers have been looking at ways to bring their imported cars through other ports, such as Shanghai. “Port of Tianjin will likely be unusable for a long while, although I have no idea at the moment how long these disruptions would last,” commented the senior Toyota official, who remained anonymous because he was not allowed to talk to the media.
Shanghai and Dalian are the ports that most likely will be chosen to handle Tianjin’s traffic for the Japanese automaker and will not incur severe logistical problems in the future. According to an official of the Shanghai Haitong International Automotive Terminal, the port could see a 10 percent in vehicle shipment volume through its only auto terminal as there are numerous new queries from automakers. Chinese auto imports totaled 1.4 million units last year, according to figures from the customs, and the Shanghai terminal can alone handle around 2 to 3 million autos per year.