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2020 Shipping Movements

Mr Miserable

Supporting Member
Jul 8, 2019
4,403
8,091
UK
I thought I would start a new thread for 2020 on European bound, and perhaps more specifically UK bound, ships carrying Teslas.

If you are new to this, here is a brief summary of what to expect:
The cars are made at the Tesla Fremont factory and then transported by road 50 miles to San Francisco Pier 80 where they are loaded into RoRo vehicle carriers for the jouney to Europe. It takes 2-3 days to load, and then a further 8 days to sail down to Panama. Usually the ships will wait at the entrance to the canal until the early hours of the morning when the eastward flow begins and 8 hours later they emerge into the Caribbean for a 11 - 12 day transit to Zeebrugge, which is the main point of entry for Tesla European sales. (There have been exceptions with a direct shipment to Amsterdam to satisfy a huge surge in NL sales caused by a reduction of a tax relief from 1 Jan 2020, and a shipment from the US east coast to Southampton to satisfy popular demand and a quarterly push). Tesla previously shipped cars from Zeebrugge to Grimsby and Sheerness but appear to have established a permanent foothold now in Southampton. I expect Southampton to be the sole port of entry for the UK from now on. I should mention that Model S / X used to be shipped in containers via rail to Houston and then required reassembly in Tilburg in Holland before being delivered to the UK, however it now looks as though they are shipped complete along with the Model 3s. Anyway calculate on 3 weeks from Pier 80 to Europe.
I mentioned quarterly push - in order to ensure the quarterly financial reports look good, the ideal is for all cars produced in a quarter to be paid for (delivered) in the same quarter.
This means that in Q1 the last ship will leave for Europe no later than around 26 Feb in order to allow for a 3 week transit to Zeebrugge and then a hectic delivery push in the last 10 days or so of March. Likewise in early January I would expect to see a large number of RHD models for the UK market to be clogging the production lines. With a Brexit date of 31 January, this may present itself as an attractive target date for a dedicated UK shipment. Since the cars just have to be landed in the UK, and through EU customs by that date to avoid any uncertainty, it could be cut quite finely. So that means we could be looking at a departure direct to Southampton from Pier 80 around Jan 8th.
It would seem that there are plenty of people in the UK waiting for early February deliveries, which would fit this idea. Some have been promised late January which may indicate an East Coast shipment. Clues will be photographs of trailer loads of RHD Teslas being driven across the US to Baltimore or Philadelphia, appearing on chat forums if this is the case. Delivery promises by Tesla personnel, especially verbal ones, are however best taken with a pinch of salt.
There is an excellent spreadsheet populated with the latest confirmed shipping information from a variety of sources - Tesla Carriers . It's worth keeping an eye on.
There are also pundits on Twitter who charge for sharing their 'inside knowledge' and analysis with you.
With the Chinese factory now open and churning out Model 3's for the Chinese market we may see increased shipments to other RHD markets eg Japan and Australia or an increased frequency of ships to Europe this quarter. Q4 managed 8 shiploads to Europe compared to 7 in Q3. Personally I think 8 boatloads to EU will be hard to beat in Q1. That begs the next question - how big are the boats? The standard ocean going vehicle carrier is 200metres long and 32 m wide and can fit about 5000 - 5500 cars onboard. Traditionally the size of these ships, like many others, was restricted to the dimensions of the Panama Canal locks however in 2016 additional locks, longer and wider (427m & 55m), were opened for use and bigger car carriers are able to transit. We have seen a couple of these larger vessels being used last quarter but using the new canal locks is much more expensive, less flexible to book and more likely to incur delays.

Anyway the plan is to post details of the latest Tesla shipping news for 2020 to this thread.
 

D4v1d

Member
Dec 7, 2019
48
38
Scotland
Do Tesla ship cars out of Baltimore? I see the DONG-A GLAUCOS has docked there today. Waiting to see it’s destination once it leaves.
 

Mr Miserable

Supporting Member
Jul 8, 2019
4,403
8,091
UK
Do Tesla ship cars out of Baltimore? I see the DONG-A GLAUCOS has docked there today. Waiting to see it’s destination once it leaves.

The Dong should be scheduled to Brunswick and then down to Veracruz and Altamira - so no.
 

ringi

Member
Oct 4, 2016
174
38
Stockport, UK
As the USA have low car sales in Q1 and Tesla has just lost US tax credit, either Tesla is going to close a production line for Model Y work, and/or they can ship many for cars to the EU/UK than in Q4.
 
Nov 30, 2019
47
10
Sussex
I was told by Tesla to expect my order by mid-January. They later updated to say mid-February. Does that suggest that matches with no ships coming in during Jan?
 

Mr Miserable

Supporting Member
Jul 8, 2019
4,403
8,091
UK
It takes 3 weeks from Pier 80 to Europe. I would say that if a ship has not left by Fri 10th, it won't make it to Europe by 31 Jan.

In any case I would not expect any January deliveries.
 

Mr Miserable

Supporting Member
Jul 8, 2019
4,403
8,091
UK
So the Morning Catherine is not coming to Europe.
It means that any hopes of a pre-BREXIT delivery direct from Pier 80 are dashed - any further shipments from there will arrive in UK after 31 January. Additionally I haven't seen any reports of new cars being transported to the East Coast for shipment from there.
On that basis, there will be nothing arriving in UK until February - precise date TBC.
 
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Ch0pper

Member
Dec 9, 2019
19
3
Dorset
So the Morning Catherine is not coming to Europe.
It means that any hopes of a pre-BREXIT delivery direct from Pier 80 are dashed - any further shipments from there will arrive in UK after 31 January. Additionally I haven't seen any reports of new cars being transported to the East Coast for shipment from there.
On that basis, there will be nothing arriving in UK until February - precise date TBC.

Not sure why delivery pre 31st Jan is important, The UK remains part of the European customs union as a transition period until the end of 2020
 
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Mr Miserable

Supporting Member
Jul 8, 2019
4,403
8,091
UK
Not sure why delivery pre 31st Jan is important, The UK remains part of the European customs union as a transition period until the end of 2020


It hasn't actually been agreed yet, although it's almost certain that the Withdrawal Agreement will breeze through UK parliament and be agreed by the EU so that the transitional period can commence on 1 Feb 20.
Since the planning for any shipment from the USA to UK will have been done several months ago, prior to the UK general election, it may have been prudent to plan on a no deal BREXIT and get the cars into the UK prior to 31 January. On that basis, there was a hope that we might see a direct delivery in January.

As it happens, it's clear that no such planning took place and a routine shipment will take place to Zeebrugge arriving in early February.
 

D4v1d

Member
Dec 7, 2019
48
38
Scotland
Spoke to a really nice guy this afternoon at Tesla. He told me they expect the first delivery of cars second week of February.
He said that they should start notifying people once they get the list of the cars on the ship. Hopefully by the end of next week. I don’t know about that though. He also said they are going to do 100 cars a week once the ships start arriving. I asked him the name of the ship but he didn’t know.
Dave
 

Mr Miserable

Supporting Member
Jul 8, 2019
4,403
8,091
UK
Spoke to a really nice guy this afternoon at Tesla. He told me they expect the first delivery of cars second week of February.
He said that they should start notifying people once they get the list of the cars on the ship. Hopefully by the end of next week. I don’t know about that though. He also said they are going to do 100 cars a week once the ships start arriving. I asked him the name of the ship but he didn’t know.
Dave

At the moment the hot money is on the Glovis Cosmos being the first ship to Europe this quarter.
 

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