As BYD aggressively pushes itself into overseas markets, BYD has reportedly ordered six massive car carriers, vessels that can transport thousands of vehicles at a time.
In part, BYD’s latest move indicates frustration with China’s auto industry. In the past two years, as China’s vehicle export recorded a boom, pandemic-specific supply chain, snarls resulted in an acute shortage of space on cargo vessels.
BYD now appears to be manoeuvring shipping its products and extending global shipping services to other car manufacturers. Think car firm meets vessel owner meets the shipping logistics provider, rolled into one.
According to a time-stamped update (link in Chinese) last month, BYD Auto Industry, a giant BYD group subsidiary, expanded a paragraph on the scope of its commercial activities. The section lists activities not typically related to a car manufacturer: ocean carrier operations, international shipping agency services, freight forwarding, and port cargo handling.
The Tianyancha update suggests that BYD is looking forward to establishing a foothold in global shipping. It reportedly represents another push by the shipping major to establish its dominance up and down the automotive supply chain.
BYD has reportedly honed its vertical integration strategy for several years, having kicked off as a mobile phone battery maker before producing other auto components, electronics, and electric vehicles. The playbook has served it well in the competitive field of EV.
BYD has started looking out to purchase lithium mines based in Africa. Besides, it also has secured an advanced contract for lithium extraction in Chile, as lithium is integral to EV batteries. BYD has secured its place as a leading producer of EV batteries, supplying its competitors like Toyota and Tesla. It is also expanding its battery production capacity from about 285 Gig watt hours (GWh) in the previous year to 445 GWh by the year’s end.
BYD isn’t the only Chinese car maker getting into the shipping business.
In July 2022, SAIC Motor, a state-owned automaker, collaborated with China’s shipping giant dubbed COSCO and the Shanghai International Port Group port operator to properly set up Guangzhou Yuanhai Car Carrier Transportation, reportedly described as a “vehicle supply chain” firm.
Expanding its fleet of homegrown vehicles’ shipping capacity to China is essential to growing the global footprint of the automotive industry.
References: Yahoo! Finance, Business Standard