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FT: Glut of imported cars turning European ports into car parks; Chinese EVs a leading cause

The Financial Times reports that masses of imported vehicles are piling up at European ports, turning them into “car parks”. According to the report, port and car industry executives have pointed to a pile-up of Chinese electric cars as one of the leading causes of the problem, with some companies booking shipping delivery slots without ordering onward transportation.

In addition, carmakers in general are struggling to order trucks because of the lack of drivers and equipment to move the vehicles on, the report said.

“Car distributors are increasingly using the port’s car parks as a depot. Instead of stocking the cars at the dealers, they are collected at the car terminal,” said the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, whose port at Zeebrugge is Europe’s busiest port for car imports. “All major car ports” were struggling with congestion, the port added, without specifying the origin of the vehicles.

Some car industry executives said Chinese carmakers were not selling their vehicles in Europe as fast as they expected, which was a big contributor to the glut at the region’s ports.

“Chinese EV makers are using ports like car parks,” said one car supply chain manager.

Some Chinese brand EVs had been sitting in European ports for up to 18 months, while some ports had asked importers to provide proof of onward transport, according to industry executives. One car logistics expert said many of the unloaded vehicles were simply staying in the ports until they were sold to distributors or end users.

“It’s chaos,” said another person who had been briefed on the situation.


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