Considerations in regards to the affect of the Baltimore bridge collapse on auto imports and exports are starting to ease as automotive firms flip to different ports alongside the East Coast.

On Thursday, Cox Automotive, a market researcher, stated it anticipated the scenario in Baltimore to haven’t any materials impact on car gross sales in the US.

“Whereas Baltimore is the highest port for auto shipments, this isn’t more likely to trigger or create a sudden new drawback in car provide that can materially affect the market,” Jonathan Smoke, Cox’s chief economist, stated in a convention name. “The port is heavy for exports and imports, however there are alternate options.”

Mercedes-Benz stated it had already discovered different methods of dealing with the autos it normally imports from Germany by way of Baltimore.

“Along with our transport companions, we reviewed and efficiently tailored our provide routes,” the corporate stated in an announcement. “We’re assured that our automobiles will be distributed on time for patrons within the U.S. in April.”

The corporate added that it already makes use of the ports in Charleston, S.C., and Brunswick, Ga., along with Baltimore. Mercedes additionally stated exports of autos it makes in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and shipments of components for that manufacturing facility have been unaffected.

Most autos offered in the US are assembled in North America. Even for European automakers which have relied on the Port of Baltimore, the affect is more likely to be muted as a result of lots of their hottest fashions are made right here.

BMW, for instance, makes its sport-utility autos in South Carolina. It imports sedans and sports activities automobiles from Germany, however they promote in smaller numbers than S.U.V.s. Two exceptions are the BMW 3 and 4 Collection sedans. However the auto maker ought to have sufficient stock on vendor heaps to maintain gross sales going for a while.

On the finish of March, BMW had sufficient autos on vendor heaps to final practically 70 days on the present price of gross sales, which is barely under the trade common, in keeping with Cox Automotive.

As well as, a part of the Port of Baltimore’s automotive operations has not been shut down by the bridge collapse. The Tradepoint Atlantic terminal, which is utilized by Volkswagen, is on the mouth of the harbor, east of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, and nonetheless accessible to oceangoing vessels.

Vehicles are transported in vessels generally known as roll-on, roll-off ships. These ships require specialised port and dock services. Imported autos additionally have to be processed within the port earlier than they are often despatched to sellers. Typically further tools is put in in automobiles earlier than they’re loaded onto vehicles or trains.

The Port of Brunswick in Georgia already handles tons of of 1000’s of automobiles, vehicles and different autos per yr. Its automotive facility, the Colonel’s Island Terminal, covers greater than 600 acres, and has greater than 400 acres out there for growth. Ports in Charleston, Jacksonville, Fla., Newark and Norfolk, Va., may also deal with roll-on, roll-off ships.

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