Friday, October 4, 2013

Port of Portland to Begin Car Exports to China

Following inspections by Chinese government auditors, Auto Warehousing Co.’s facility at Terminal 6 within the Port of Portland has received full approval to export Ford vehicles beginning in a few weeks.

“We are proud to be serving as the primary gateway for exports of new Fords to China and furthering our mission to provide access to international markets,” Port of Portland Executive Director Bill Wyatt said in a prepared statement. “This new business will provide local jobs and economic benefits, but also fulfills a national role for Ford vehicles manufactured in plants throughout North America.”

Initial volumes are planned to be 30,000 in the first year and growing to 40,000 per year, and AWC says it plans to hire up to 50 people immediately at its 130-acre Terminal 6 facility to process vehicles and prepare them for the Chinese market.

A $2.8 million project to expand the processing building by 27,000 square feet and increase capacity to more than 110,000 vehicles annually is nearing completion. Oregon State grant funding and a $560,000 investment by AWC financed the expansion.

The Port of Portland, which has specialized in handling vehicles since 1953, is among the top three auto import gateways on the West Coast and is the fifth largest in the US.

“There is great potential to grow this business as our expertise and available capacity matches growing demand for Ford vehicles in China,” Auto Warehousing Co. President Ben Seher said. “By better utilizing transpacific car carriers returning to Asia, this will be good news for everyone involved.”