Tesla has signed a one-year, $422 million contract with South Korean logistics company Hyundai Glovis to transport vehicles from the automaker’s Gigafactory in China to other regions.
Tesla has been using Gigafactory Shanghai, located on the southern shores of the Shanghai coast, as an export hub for its vehicles for the majority of 2021. Prior to this year, Tesla maintained that it would not use Shanghai-produced vehicles as supplementary inventory for other markets. However, the company reversed its stance on the idea at the beginning of the new year, beginning its export program by shipping 7,000 Model 3s to Europe straight from Shanghai. It would be the first of many shipments from China to other markets.
“Giga Shanghai makes cars for export in first half of quarter, then cars for far away parts of China, then cars for nearby parts of China,” Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, said in September, detailing the strategy the automaker uses for its Shanghai export operation. “Net result is a crazy wave of deliveries end of quarter. It is tough on our team, so we’re hoping to reduce the wave in Q4 & Q1.”
TradeWinds, a site that tracks global shipping, initially reported the partnership. The site said that it is the largest contract Hyundai Glovis has signed with a single carmaker in its thirteen-year history in the sector.
Hyundai Glovis has three shipping processes, including: Overseas Shipment for Finished Vehicle/Breakbulk, Bulk Export and Import, and RO-RO Terminal Operation:
“Using PCTC (pure car and truck carrier: carriers for complete vehicles), we are transporting heavy machines for construction, buses and electric locomotives to expand the importance of 3PL (third-party logistics) based on efficient cooperation between headquarters and overseas branches. We are developing many new courses and expanding existing ones to cover the entire world for maximizing customer satisfaction.”
It is unknown where the vehicles will be shipped to from Shanghai, and whether or not the export deal will include some China-built vehicles to be shipped to the United States. Of course, Hyundai Glovis will likely ship Model 3 units from Shanghai to Europe as Gigafactory Berlin, which could still begin production before the end of the year, will build the Model Y during the initial production phases at the factory. However, some Model 3 units could possibly make their way to the United States, as a Shanghai-built all-electric sedan was spotted in Northern California recently. However, due to the production of the Model 3 at the Fremont Factory in Northern California, it is safe to assume most of Hyundai Glovis’s shipments will make their way to Europe from China.
Some analysts are not keen on Tesla’s export strategy. Tesla bull and longtime analyst Dan Ives once called the Giga Shanghai export operation “a logistical nightmare,” adding that the non-sustainable plan is “pushing back delivery times for customers throughout the region.”
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