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Leixões receives 115 cars per day from Autoeuropa ready for export

The reason for using the port of Leixões, in Matosinhos, in the district of Porto, is related to the semiconductor crisis

It is at the pace of 115 cars received per day that the port of Leixões awaits the arrival of a ship that exports vehicles from Autoeuropa, in Palmela, drained by the North due to the semiconductor crisis.

"We are already embarking 2,400 cars and unloading 353 cars, all from the Volkswagen group," explained Nuno Rosa Lopes to Lusa, director of exploration of the Terminal of General Cargo and Bulk of Leixões (TCGL), of the ETE Group that, along with another company of the group (Navex), is in charge of the logistics operation.

According to the responsible, "a second shipment is being prepared, 1,500 more cars", since the beginning of the most recent operations, in December 2022. "According to the latest information we received from Volkswagen, it may continue up to about 6,000 cars, for now, at this stage," Nuno Rosa Lopes told Lusa.

The current service puts an end to a four-year interregnum of operations of this type, since in 2018, due to the dockworkers' strike in Setúbal, a similar operation of sending Volkswagen group cars through the north of the country was carried out. This time, the reason for the recourse to the port of Leixões, in Matosinhos, in the district of Porto, is another: the semiconductor crisis, according to the head of the ETE Group.

With the lack "of some car components that do not allow the cars to be finished, fully homologated, [...] the waiting parks for cars in Setúbal are congested," detailed the director of TCGL.

"We currently receive one convoy per day, from Tuesday to Saturday. Each train brings 115 T-Roc, which is the Volkswagen model manufactured in Autoeuropa in Setúbal", Nuno Rosa Lopes detailed to Lusa, in the Leixões port, near the cars shipment area, but still without a ship that could receive them. The last shipment, which took place this year, included 2,400 cars, and 70% of them arrived at the port of Leixões by rail and the rest by road.

Before the arrival of the train, the border barriers are opened under the watchful eye of the GNR, the port security, the transporter (Medway) and ETE group officials, in a careful process that involves the installation of a ramp using a forklift, so that the cars can leave.

The 600 meter train arrives at the Leixões railroad terminal, now under the administration of the Administração dos Portos do Douro, Leixões e Viana do Castelo (APDL), with the cars in line, ready to get off.

Once the ramp is set up, about a dozen dockworkers, dressed in white, step over the wagons, get into the brand new Volkswagen T-Rocs, and drive them to the north side of the port, a process that takes between an hour and a half and two hours. Under the watchful eye of the seagulls that fly over the area, near the mobile bridge of Leixões, the vehicles are parked outdoors in the port facilities, ready for export to Emden, Germany.

The ETE group waits "all the moment" that Volkswagen says when its ship will call in Leixões to take the vehicles, and "from then on, depending on the number of cars that are here, the ship will leave", says Nuno Rosa Lopes. "Predictably, at the beginning of next month", he pointed out.


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