SHANGHAI (Reuters) -BYD’s first chartered vehicle vessel has set sail from China’s southern city of Shenzhen, carrying more than 5,000 electric vehicles to Europe, state media Xinhua reported on Tuesday.
Chinese automakers including BYD, Chery Automobile and SAIC Motor have been placing orders for vessels to counter rising shipping costs as they boost exports.
The new roll-on, roll-off vehicle carrier named “BYD Explorer No.1” departed on Monday for Flushing Port in the Netherlands and the German port of Bremerhaven, Xinhua said.
The vessel was built by Yantai CIMC Raffles Shipyard for Zodiac Maritime, Xinhua added. Zodiac Maritime is a London-headquartered international ship-management company owned by Israel’s Ofer family.
China exported 5.2 million vehicles in 2023, estimated to have overtaken Japan as the world’s largest auto exporter.
BYD exported about 243,000 cars out of its total sales of 3 million vehicles in 2023, with Australia, Brazil and Israel among its biggest overseas markets, data from the China Passenger Car Association showed.
(Reporting by Zhang Yan and Brenda GohEditing by Jason Neely and David Goodman)