Giga Shanghai Becoming Huge Export Hub For Tesla Mass Production
The Port of Shanghai, located in the vicinity of Shanghai, comprises a deep-sea port and a river port. The main port enterprise in Shanghai, the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG), was established during the reconstitution of the Shanghai Port Authority. Companies such as the Shanghai Port Container Co. and Waigaoqiao Bonded Zone Port Co. were involved in the port of Shanghai development.
In 2010, Shanghai port overtook the Port of Singapore to become the world's busiest container port. Shanghai's port handled 29.05 million TEU ("twenty-foot equivalent unit" - abbreviated TEU or teu - is an inexact unit of cargo capacity, often used for container ships and container ports. It is based on the volume of a 20-foot-long (6.1 m) intermodal container, a standard-sized metal box which can be easily transferred between different modes of transportation, such as ships, trains, and trucks.), whereas Singapore's was a half million TEU behind. Shanghai handled 43.3 million TEU in 2019. Shanghai is one of only 4 port-cities in the world to be categorised as a large-port Megacity, due to its high volumes of port traffic and large urban population.
Social media user @bentv_sh tweeted today that "…a large number of Teslas were found parked in the yard at Waigaoqiao Terminal in Shanghai, where two roll-on/roll-off vessels were docked, and it seems that in the near future, Teslas will be loaded on board."
Many skeptics had stated that Tesla Giga Shanghai would never happen, when news about the factory was announced by Elon Musk a couple of years ago.
A large number of #Teslas were found parked in the yard at #Waigaoqiao Terminal in Shanghai, where two roll-on/roll-off vessels were docked, and it seems that in the near future, Teslas will be loaded on board.#TeslaShanghai pic.twitter.com/hnfiFOoZC6
— (@bentv_sh) November 18, 2021
Giga Shanghai currently does final assembly of Model 3 vehicles, which began in December 2019, and Model Y that began final assembly later in 2020. While initially, those assemblies were accomplished with parts and subassemblies that were shipped into the factory from the US, a major push during 2020 was aimed at gradually increasing the "Made in China" (MIC) content in the car as Tesla China manufacturing matured. MIC Model Y production started in January 2021, and the production line capacity of Giga Shanghai was aimed at 5,000 cars per week; it was calculated that - if achieved and sustained - it could result in an annual capacity of more than 250,000 vehicles. Now we can see that those number predictions have been more than doubled, if we take into account September 2021 numbers as a calculation base: 50K in twelve months is basically more than 600K.
Building a Giga Factory in Shanghai was an important milestone for Tesla, which hoped to use its Shanghai factory to gain a foothold in China, the world's largest market for electric vehicles. It was hoped that the local factory would help to speed up deliveries and insulate the company from the trade wars between US and China.
Gigafactories in Shanghai, Berlin and Texas are being built in phases so that Tesla can begin manufacturing immediately inside the finished sections of the factory and continue to expand thereafter. While Giga Shanghai was originally only supposed to produce vehicles for local (Chinese) demand, Tesla surprised everybody with how fast it was able to ramp up production at the plant. It enabled them to start exporting vehicles from the factory to other markets – reducing the exportation load out of the California (Fremont) factory, which can now focus more on local (USA) demand.
All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.
Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.