Nearly a year after announcing Nanaimo as a port of entry for Mercedes-Benz into Canada, the port authority said a pilot-run is underway for its new vehicle processing centre.
The Port of Nanaimo says the centre is the first and only entry point in western Canada for European cars.
The pilot run is underway and the Port of Nanaimo will soon be a port of entry for @MercedesBenzCDN vehicles into Canada! Full details will be shared when the first official shipment arrives later this month #Nanaimo pic.twitter.com/tO9XIg0EK9
— Port of Nanaimo (@portnanaimo) March 8, 2019
Last April, the port authority announced a partnership Western Stevedoring, and its affiliate organization, the Auto Division of SSA Marine to design, to build, finance and operate a multipurpose break-bulk terminal for European automobile import.
In June, Ottawa committed $6.3 million towards the project, saying it would create 200 jobs during construction and 100 jobs once the 60,00 square-foot facility was up and running.
In the past, European cars have been shipped to eastern Canada and then loaded onto trains and sent across the country.
But changes to the Panama Canal now allow ships to bring vehicles directly to the west coast.
The port authority says the pilot-run will test its protocols and streamline its processes, with the first official shipment expected later this month.
The Mercedes-Benz vehicles shipped to Nanaimo will be sent to dealerships on Vancouver Island and the lower mainland.