Tacoma may soon be importing a lot more automobiles through its port, thanks to the rise of Mexico as a major auto exporting country and a potential partnership with Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Line (MOL). MOL announced this month that it will soon start transporting new cars from Mexico’s port of Lazaro Cardenas to U.S. West Coast ports, one of those being the Port of Tacoma.
Although arrangements for this new route haven’t been fully finalized, the Port of Tacoma is an unsurprising pick given its experience importing automobiles already. Currently the port imports Mazda’s from Japan and Kia’s from Korea. Tacoma-based company, Auto Warehousing, is an experienced auto importer with operations in 28 ports.
This potential new route highlights the rise of Mexico as an auto manufacturer and exporter – it currently is the second-largest auto exporting country to the United States and is expected to become #1 next year. Nearly 20% of all North American-built vehicles are produced in Mexico.
Pass-through imports are important to the ports here in Greater Seattle, as we act as a gateway to the rest of the country. It helps keeps port operations humming and busy, supporting thousands of workers.