People in Nanaimo will see this 60,000-square-foot warehouse and other facilities at Nanaimo assembly wharf upgraded over the coming months as the site is transformed into a vehicle processing facility that will prepare European-made vehicles for operation in Canada before they are shipped to B.C. dealerships. (CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin)

New European import vehicle-processing facility planned for Nanaimo assembly wharf

Cars destined for B.C. dealerships to be imported, processed and delivered through Nanaimo

Widening the Panama Canal has broadened industry and job opportunities for Nanaimo with a new automobile import and processing facility that will start operations at the Nanaimo Port Authority’s Assembly Wharf in January.

Nanaimo Port Authority, Western Stevedoring and its affiliate organization, the automotive division of U.S.-based SSA Marine, announced a joint venture Tuesday that will redevelop the Nanaimo Assembly Wharf into a multipurpose terminal that will be home to to an import vehicle processing facility where cars brought to Canada from Europe will have work done to meet Canadian standards.

“The existing warehouse that people see in the centre of Nanaimo Assembly Wharf, that’s approximately 60,000 square feet, that is actually going to become the vehicle processing centre,” said Ewan Moir, Nanaimo Port Authority president and CEO. “That is the facility where the vehicles go in and they are taken from being the standard-manufactured European vehicle and – I wouldn’t say they’re converted – they’re morphed to become a Canadian vehicle. The French-English stickers go on, the [GPS] software is update with all the maps particular to North America, any of the activities that are required in an automobile to make them Canadian happen within the vehicle processing centre.”

Having a centre in Nanaimo relieves distribution problems European manufacturers are have experienced by only being able to land vehicles destined for markets across Canada at Halifax, N.S., which means vehicles have to be transported by truck or train to Canadian destinations. The multiple loading and unloading stages can create time-consuming and expensive logistical bottlenecks in the delivery process. Also, vehicle dealers had complained about the cost of land on the Lower Mainland to store inventory.

Marine shipping cars destined for the Island, Lower Mainland and Western Canadian dealerships directly from Europe to Nanaimo became possible when the Panama Canal was widened, allowing large vehicle transport ships to pass through it on their routes to West Coast ports.

Moir said the first phase of the project will use about seven hectares of assembly wharf land and start out processing about 10,000 to 12,000 vehicles annually. The second phase of the project will double the size of the facility, which could grow to process up to about 40,000 vehicles annually as early as 2024.

“The cars will be processed here in Nanaimo, then the dealerships will have the cars that they’re looking for for their customers delivered back from Nanaimo to the Lower Mainland,” Moir said.

The delivery process will increase the short sea shipping business for Nanaimo and the processing facility itself will provide about 40 to 60 new jobs in the short term and up to 110 new jobs in the coming years, according to estimates presented in a press release.

Moir said the industry is a good fit for Nanaimo, especially because of its proximity to downtown.

“This is something that is not noisy. It’s not a noisy process in the vehicle processing centre and it actually operates more like a 9-5 business … and then you take the indirect employment that supports that industry,” he said.

Once the processing facility is established there is also potential to attract supporting industries and businesses.

“There’s a number of other areas, which we haven’t turned the page on yet, but we know that this is going to give us some directions for some other businesses that will potentially look very favourably at Nanaimo and the mid Island,” Moir said.

To learn more, follow this link.



photos@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

OPINION: It’s important that we exercise our right to vote

If we vote for a competent and collaborative council, the Hub City will thrive, says guest columnist

Discontent City can remain where it is until the end of next month

B.C. Supreme Court judge grants application for an extension to comply with injunction

Clippers bounce back and beat Eagles

Nanaimo defeats Surrey 6-2, next home game is this Sunday, Oct. 21

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: So much for ‘say no to drugs’ in Canada

I’m from the ‘users are losers’ generation, says letter writer

Former Nanaimo Daily News editor writes first business book

Book launch for It Worked For Them, It Will Work For Me is Tuesday, Oct. 23

UPDATE: Shots fired at house during fight in Nanaimo

Shots were fired at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday in 500 block of Kennedy Street, say RCMP

Candidates for Nanaimo, Lantzville, RDN, school district

Local government elections are today, Oct. 20

Election 2018: candidate questionnaires

News Bulletin’s questionnaire responses for Nanaimo, Lantzville, school board, regional district

When to vote, where to vote, how to vote

Voting day is Oct. 20, with polls open 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Most Read