Myths and truth about the car boom in the port of Vladivostok

February 8, PrimaMedia. A sharp reduction in the supply of new left-hand drive cars on the market and stabilized exchange rates led to a real boom in the supply of used and new cars from the domestic market of Japan and South Korea through the port of Vladivostok. From here, used “right-hand drive” and new “gelendvagens” from the Korean market, as in the dashing 90s, are dispersing throughout Russia.

The main platform for receiving foreign cars today is the Vladivostok Automobile Terminal (VAT, part of the group of companies of the Vladivostok Commercial Sea Port, FESCO Transport Group). About how the car transshipment scheme works today and why it is not worth talking about a collapse in the roadstead, Vitaly Marchenko, General Director of LLC “VAT”, spoke in an exclusive interview with PrimaMedia news agency.

Vladivostok Automobile Terminal is the largest in its industry in the Far East, located on the territory of VMTP. The terminal transships cars, special equipment, auto parts and other cargo in bulk and in pallets, and also offers storage services in a temporary storage warehouse (TSW) and delivery from the warehouse to the recipient.

Vitaly Marchenko, General Director of the Vladivostok Automobile Terminal. Photo: Ilya Averyanov, IA PrimaMedia

— Vitaly Alexandrovich, the specialized car terminal has been operating in the port of Vladivostok for 15 years and is now experiencing a real renaissance. How does it work in practice?

— At the moment, we are the largest specialized site at sea terminals in the ports of the Far East. This is objective, since more than 4,000 vehicles can be stored on our premises at a time – 2,200 parking spaces in covered warehouses and 2,000 in an open area. Accordingly, on average, we can transship about 11-12 thousand vehicles per month.

The math in this case is simple. There is a one-time car storage rate multiplied by the turnover ratio. If the latter indicator grows, then we will be able to process more machines. In fact, many factors work here, ranging from the speed of processing documents by customs authorities and ending with the deadline for the removal of the car from the terminal (the date of removal depends on the broker providing a full range of services to the end client, or on the client himself, who picks up the car on his own).

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— It looks like you were ready for the growth of foreign cars, having prepared the appropriate infrastructure.

— The Vladivostok Automobile Terminal is a part of the Vladivostok Commercial Sea Port, we are located on the territory of the VMTP and are also part of the FESCO Transportation Group. We are one big family. Investments in infrastructure are taking place regularly. Every year, every month we improve, refine, expand something.

Last year, for example, quite a lot of new sites were put into operation, including Vesta for 220 cars. We also converted part of the lawns into parking lots. Plus, they used the area of ​​the Russian Troika terminal. This is a global project that was implemented in a short period of time – it took less than two months. Today it is an additional 18 thousand square meters. meters, which can accommodate 1.1 thousand cars at a time. Of course, this is a great help for us, due to which it is possible to increase the volume of transshipment.

Multi-storey warehouse-parking car terminal. Photo: Ilya Averyanov, IA PrimaMedia

— How long is the delivered car in the port today?

– Japanese – on average up to 8-10 days. Korean is a little longer.

— How has the structure of imports changed recently? Brokers say there are more Korean cars?

“Our terminal has always accepted mainly ships from Japan, and they are mostly used cars with right-hand drive.

In small volumes there are new cars. But these cars are transit vehicles that go to Kazakhstan. For example, today (the interview was taken at the end of January – editor’s note) we will receive another ship, on which 500 cars will come. Of these, 99 are new left-hand drive Subaru.

According to the Vladivostok customs, the main volume of imported used cars is occupied by the Japanese auto industry – Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Honda, Subaru, Mitsubishi and Suzuki. Smaller numbers are cars from South Korea, such as Hyundai and Kia, as well as European BMWs, Audis and Volkswagens with right and left hand drive.

Yes, now quite a lot of new cars have been imported from Korea, for example, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Mohave, Kia Sorrento, and these are single copies, not lots for dealers. From Japan with a right-hand drive, more often than other brands, they bring new Toyota Prado.

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If you look at used “Japanese”, then about 80-85% of these cars leave Primorye. For Korean cars, I think this share is much higher. If 5-10% remains in Primorye, then it’s good. And that’s not a fact. Yes, this can be seen on local roads – the right-hand drive and a Japanese car prevail. The Korean auto industry has become larger, but still not so much.

— From time to time in social networks sound the alarm about the overloaded roadstead of the port of Vladivostok. They say that ships cannot become loaded, the collapse in the port. Is this really a problem?

– I can definitely answer for my direction – there are currently no ships idle in the roadstead at VMTP. We process incoming ships practically on the move and do not experience any particular difficulties with this.

Yes, there are small failures during peak loads. For example, in December last year, there were cases when on one date 3-4 ships with cars came to the port at once. And all of them had to try to accept, preferably on the same day. Naturally, in such cases, someone will stand in the raid waiting for their turn. No one is immune from this – not a single port, not a single terminal. It’s another matter when ships follow a predetermined schedule, which, as a rule, is agreed upon by two parties at the beginning of the month: the sea carrier and us. The dates on which these ships must be received are fixed. And if they go according to the schedule, then there is no queue. There were cases when in three days it was necessary to receive about 10 ships with a car.

Again, when there are such volumes, the failure occurs everywhere, along the chain. In particular, customs may experience certain difficulties, where a large number of documents for clearance immediately fall. Their load increases significantly. How does the average person usually feel about this? Like, how bad everything is at customs, there are not enough people, equipment. And why did it happen? Because the customs has calculated capacity for a certain number of incoming documents. And it is right. When there is an increase in the flow, customs, of course, add people, and we see it. But when 10 ships fall down like a snowball at once and there is a huge wave of documents, then I understand them – physically it is quite difficult to process such a volume at once.

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Vladivostok customs in 2022 issued more than 197 thousand used cars imported by individuals. This is 72% more than a year earlier. In December 2022, the supply of used cars through Vladivostok increased by 2.4 times by January 2021, to 26,000, and November became the peak period for the year with a result of 28,000 cars.

As for our terminal, all processes are automated at BAT. Even before the ship approaches, the cars arriving on it are painted according to the sites. The storage locations are reflected in the program, and the storekeeper already knows where to put the vehicle when unloading.

BAT does not affect the terms of storage at the terminal: as soon as the car has arrived at our parking lot and has passed customs clearance, it can be picked up. Or move under customs control to any temporary storage warehouse within one customs post.

When a client comes to receive a vehicle, he goes through a certain procedure at the box office and receives a material pass. This pass is then given to the storekeeper, who scans it and sees exactly where the vehicle is located. Everything is very simple.

– Do the prices for terminal services for individuals and legal entities differ?

There is no difference, the price is the same for everyone. There are no priorities either. Everything is in order. Came – received.

— You didn’t say anything about Chinese cars, which obviously also come to the port of Vladivostok.

— Yes, they have been coming in lately, but so far their number is not significant. For example, Chery officially imports new cars. Now these are three brands – Chery itself and sub-brands Exeed and Omoda. All imported cars are then sent to dealerships.

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