Pure car and truck carrier orders reach new high

As Chinese car exports continue to rise and British car manufacturing continues its resurgence, orders for car and truck RoRo (PCTC) vessels are the highest since 2008.

During the pandemic many PCTCs were scrapped and few built, as working from home depressed vehicle demand, but rising Chinese car exports, up 58% year on year and increased demand from Japanese and European manufacturers, particularly to Europe and the Americas, has seen global tonne-mile trade growing 12% in the last year.

The PCTC shortage has caused daily charter rates to soar with shipowners and two carmakers in China, rushing to build vessels, while many manufacturers are adopting Metro’s container shipping solution, which offers efficiencies and cost savings over RoRo alternatives.

BYD, which make electric and hybrid cars, is ordering six PCTC ships with the capacity to carry 7,700 cars, while state-owned SAIC Motor Corp is tendering for seven new carriers that can each hold 8,900 vehicles.

BYD and SAIC aren’t the first car brands to run their own shipping fleets. Toyota owns shipping company Toyofuji Shipping Co., while Hyundai has logistics group Hyundai Glovis Co., and Volkswagen charters its own vessels.

Last year, 90 PCTCs, totalling 560,000 car-equivalent units (ceu) were ordered, nearly tripling the 38 commissioned in 2021, while so far this year, 33 have been commissioned.

With only 11 vessels expected for delivery in 2023 and China planning to export 2.3m units to Europe this year, the RoRo capacity currently expected will only serve half of that number.

But with container shipping rates slumping, there is a massive opportunity for shippers of finished vehicles to move units on dependable and regular services – without volume constraints – at relatively low cost.

Metro has specialised in automotive, construction and agricultural vehicle supply chains and movement, using road transporters, RoRo, sea containers, air freight, charters and specialised equipment for over four decades. 

Working with many of the most respected and established global brands, our specialist teams coordinate the end to end movement of vehicles and machinery around the world, regardless of origin or destination.

Long-standing partnerships and volume agreements with the leading container shipping lines means we can offer the widest choice of services, routes and solutions for finished car and KDV movements.

To learn more, or to discuss our automotive capability, EMAIL Ian Tubbs.