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2023 Shipping Movements

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Mr Miserable

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Jul 8, 2019
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I thought I would start a new thread for 2023 on European bound ships carrying Teslas.
The first logical question is why on earth would anyone on a Tesla forum be interested in shipping?

The answer is because once you have ordered your revolutionary expensive new car you enter the Tesla blackout zone - a frustrating period of non-communication from Tesla when you have no idea of what is happening with your order. If you call them, they just say they 'are waiting for a match'. What does that mean? Tesla don't build Model 3/Ys to order - they build whatever they want and then match what has been ordered to what has been produced. This 'matching' usually happens around the time the car is loaded on to a ship. Aha! Shipping has suddenly become interesting!

All Model 3s for Europe are currently made in the Shanghai Gigafactory and are shipped to Zeebrugge in Belgium, Koper in Slovenia or Barcelona in Spain through the Suez Canal in a journey taking about 30 days. All Model 3s and Y's for the UK are currently shipped from Shanghai direct to Southampton. (I expect MY for the UK will come from Berlin at some point in 2023)
Normally Tesla fully charter ships to transport their cars but during 2022 they supplemented the charters by using available space on scheduled services too.

If you are in Auz/NZ, shipments are from Shanghai.
If you are in Dubai, your Model 3 will be loaded on to a ship that heads to Jebel Ali. Currently there is one shipment per quarter.
If you are in Israel, your Model 3 will be shipped to Ashdod from Shanghai and again currently there is one shipment per quarter. Model Y will come from Berlin but is harder to track.
If you are in Ireland your car is shipped to Dublin via Zeebrugge.

Model S/X were shipped from Baltimore to Zeebrugge in 2022.

I mentioned Q1 earlier- this is because Tesla work in quarters with Q1 running from Jan to Mar. The Tesla business model requires as many cars as possible produced in a quarter to be paid for (delivered) in that same quarter.
This means that in Q1 the last ship will leave for Europe no later than around 18 Feb in order to allow for a 4 week transit to Southampton/Zeebrugge and then a (hectic) delivery push in the last 10 days or so of March. (A little later if shipping to Koper) It is logical then to expect to see a large number of export models for the UK/EU market to be clogging the Chinese production lines in January and early February. This explains the feast or famine nature of Tesla logistics. Elon has promised his staff that he will try to suppress the end of quarter wave. To an extent he has already succeeded in this - by moving all export production to China, the US domestic supply is now much more even throughout the quarter. For Europe, had Berlin come online when originally planned, the sombrero would have been flattened by 2022 Q1. There are a couple of factors currently in play (Q1 2023) which will ease the end of quarter rush - the first is the current market stagnation in China which has meant export production started earlier in Shanghai during Dec 22 and the (comparitive) dribble of cars from Berlin. Berlin is simply not producing the quantity of cars it was originally hoped. Elon & co continue to downplay their disappointment with Berlin but it is an elephant in the room that needs to be spoken about honestly. Instead Elon seems to be sniffing around S Europe, and Turkey in particular, to establish a Berlin successor and eventual replacement.

You may wonder why we in the UK should be interested in shipments to Zeebrugge, Koper and Barcelona? Often it may be difficult to determine whether a ship is heading to Southampton, Zeebrugge, Barcelona or Koper and so it's just as easy to track all the ships to Europe. Often the ship may call at Southampton and then head to Zeebrugge and so it makes sense keep track of everything heading to Europe anyway. It's useful for me if our European readers advise their expected delivery dates and when VINs are allocated as that can help identify where a ship is going.

There is an pretty good spreadsheet populated with the latest (and historical) confirmed shipping information from a variety of sources - Tesla Carriers. It may be more of interest to you later as you become more engrossed in this subject! Did I mention it can become addictive?

Anyway, I think we can expect to see about 13 boatloads to Europe in Q1.
That begs the next question - how big are the boats? The standard ocean going vehicle carrier is 200 metres long and 32 metres wide and can fit about 5000 - 5500 cars onboard. A Tesla is larger and significantly heavier than a standard car and so a maximum of about 4500 cars are in each shipment. There are larger vessels that can transport more and I will make a point of mentioning it if a larger vessel is being used.

Anyway the plan is to post details of the latest Tesla shipping news for 2023 to this thread.

I will still keep and eye on Pier 80 San Francisco just in case Model S/X start being exported in quantities to make shipments via Panama viable.

There are a number of ship trackers you can use to follow the ships and www.marinetraffic.com is one with perhaps the best free coverage but there are plenty of others. The ships transmit a signal which is picked up by shore based receivers (mostly hosted by amateurs) and forwarded to the website. The trouble is that the signal is a VHF signal meaning the receiver has to be within line-of-sight and once the ship goes over the horizon to the receiver that's it, unless you pay for satellite coverage which is not cheap. With the aid of satellite tracking I will provide a daily update on exactly where each 'Tesla' ship is and provide an estimated time of arrival to Zeebrugge and Southampton (the UK port of entry for Tesla). A talented reader of the thread @Frizzy, has created an excellent webpage where you can track 'Tesla' ships Tesla Ship Tracker
I'll also try and add some background info which you may find interesting.

Correctly identfying Tesla ships from Shanghai is not easy and quite often a 'suspect' ship turns out to be a false alarm. There are other sites that claim to track Tesla ships but actually just track every possible ship that departs Shanghai, which is not particularly helpful. I at least try and rule out the improbable ones based on my experience. It's also free! It helps enormously if when you 'chat' to Tesla about your order that you ask what ship your car is on or if they won't tell you the name, at least ask when it will arrive in Zeebrugge/Southampton. Please post your info to the thread or PM me!

You can help me and others by keeping any posts on this thread strictly to shipping related matters - questions about when to expect delivery, VINs and panel gaps have their own threads, which I have been known to visit and contribute to also.
So 2023 shipments are already underway!

GOLD XING departed Shanghai South yesterday and is currently enroute to Suez (19 Jan). At the moment I don't know whether she is EU or UK bound. Hopefully a VIN shower will occur in the coming days which will give us a clue.

Loading now at Shanghai South is GRANDE CALIFORNIA. Again at the moment I don't now where she is headed but hopefully some research will produce an answer. I'm on the case...

Over in California I note that OPAL ACE visited Pier 80 and departed to Kanda, Japan. I'm not getting a warm and fuzzy feeling about this ship and suspect it may not be Tesla related.

Over in Australia MSC IMMACOLATA has suffered delay after delay. Readers may recall she was meant to be loading in Shanghai now. I suspect she will have been replaced and so I am going to remove her from the map. What map?

You can follow all the Tesla ships on Frizzy's map HERE. It will get updated as soon as Frizzy is sober again.
Welcome back @Mr Miserable you have been missed. My Son is currently updating the map before the next batch of alcohol and celebrations start! All should look up to date at any moment.

I have updated my Linktree with the new 2023 forums, you can now quickly find the latest @Mr Miserable post, find this forum and a selection of useful links. Do feel free to share any links you have and I can add them. TeslaUpdate. | Linktree

Let the 2023 Q1 start and I hope that if you are waiting for your Tesla, it arrives quickly for you. Meanwhile enjoy this forum it is a great source of amazing information and knowledge!
Summary 01 Jan 23

ETA Zeebrugge 30 Jan
GRANDE CALIFORNIA Scheduled ETA Zeebrugge 28 Jan but more likely to arrive around 31 Jan.

Next UK shipment expected to depart around 14 Jan.

You can follow the progress of the ships on this map which is regularly updated, via satellite, with the ship's latest positions.
Summary 02 Jan 23

No change from yesterday and nothing new to report.

ETA Zeebrugge 30 Jan
GRANDE CALIFORNIA Scheduled ETA Zeebrugge 28 Jan but more likely to arrive around 31 Jan.

Next UK shipment expected to depart around 14 Jan.

You can follow the progress of the ships on this map which is regularly updated, via satellite, with the ship's latest positions.
Thanks for posting.
I referred to MSC IMMACOLATA's delay in Post No 2 to this thread. She was originally going to be the 1st ship of 2023 from Shanghai South and was scheduled to arrive in Southampton on 28 Jan however that plan went out the window last month with the problems in Australia. That said, she is now on her way to Shanghai (ETA 11 Jan) This timing fits pretty well with when I expect the next UK ship.
I don't believe we have seen a VIN shower to support the idea that HOEGH ASIA is carrying Teslas. We have seen in the past that cars, that for some reason or other, missed their scheduled transport can get loaded on scheduled services and so it is possible that a few cars may have been loaded but in this case there is no evidence of that either so far.
TARIFA is definitely heading for Northern Europe but when she will arrive to load is another question - she seems in no hurry to get to Shanghai South at the moment. Another puzzle for me is what she is loading - the compounds were supposedly emptied by GOLD XING (prob around 2700 cars) and GRANDE CALIFORNIA (prob around 4700 cars) and there is likely to be a Japanese shipment this week too. I have yet to see VIN allocations being made for these shipments - perhaps later today. (A WuWa video of TARIFA's loading would be very welcome as the alternative theory is that TARIFA is IMMACOLATA's replacement and will be coming to the UK)
MONZA is another ship I'm keeping an eye on - she will head to Zeebrugge around 21 Jan.

This month is going to be interesting as far as exports from Shanghai are concerned. It was already announced that the GF will close over the Chinese New Year but the closure has now been extended 20 Jan to 30 Jan. Clearly this will result in the reduced production numbers in January. The short sellers are already saying this is because of supply difficulties/drop in demand/logistic issues but it's likely to be none of those reasons and more likely to be a significant change to the production lines. Suffice to say, Tesla would not do this negative action if there wasn't a strong positive as a result. There has to be concern however over the COVID situation in China. Even in the unlikely event that the GF is not directly impacted by staff sickness there is a very real liklihood that that the logistic supply chain to the GF will be affected in some way. The Chinese domestic market may have been affected by COVID and the reason why incentives of free supercharging were given for those able to accept a Dec delivery. This incentive was also offerred in the USA which combined with the cold snap, according to a Tesla rep I was talking to, made for a manic year end over there.

Tesla's 2022 year end figures showed an increase in inventory. This should have come as no surprise and is not a result of a drop in demand (yep, the short sellers again) but rather cars at sea and parked on airfields that could not be delivered. Berlin seemed to relish in producing over 1000 cars per day in the closing days of 22 - all undelivered and parked up on a disused airfield. It's in Tesla's interest to keep the inventory figure as low as possible and so I don't imagine it will be higher in Q1. In order to achieve this the Shanghai GF will want to prioritise export production when it reopens. Accordingly, I expect February to be the busiest month ever for ships.
My X Plaid was booked on Hoegh Transporter that arrived 2 dec to Zeebrugge., did not arrive, hoped it was on HOEGH TROVE that arrived to Zeebrugge before Christmas. Tesla Sweden receive no contact with my Plaid.
They believe it will come with the next boat but no nothing about any boat transfers.

Have anyone the same problem or have any guess about the first transport with S/X to Europe 2023?
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