CMP is now the biggest Nordic port for cars, with hundreds of thousands of vehicles passing through per annum. The four ultra-modern terminals accommodate up to 40,000 cars from all over the world.
Cars, cars and more cars
With row upon row of gleaming, freshly painted cars, the vast Freeport in Malmö is an impressive sight. Brands like Toyota, Honda and Peugeot share space with Chrysler, Suzuki and many others. In recent years, CMP has evolved into a major logistics centre for new cars. There are several reasons for this, including the flexible transport options offered by the Øresund Bridge, and Malmö/Copenhagen's strategic location in relation to the other Nordic countries, Russia and the Baltic markets.
Some 20 different brands
Today, CMP is the biggest Nordic port for car imports – 20 different brands and several hundred thousand vehicles pass through each year. CMP has a total of four car terminals, all of which are fully modernised and equipped to deliver the highest possible levels of service. The terminals accommodate 30–40,000 cars. The Copenhagen terminal is located at the Orient Basin in the Freeport.
The Port of Malmö can accommodate large and small ships – i.e both feeder vessels and ocean-going vessels. The three terminals comprise an area totalling 700,000 square metres – equivalent to about 100 standard football pitches – and are linked to the railway system. As well as by sea, cars also arrive at the port by truck and rail.
Cars are treated as the valuable objects that they are at every point in the transport chain. Unloading consists of a sublime piece of perfect choreography – a team of six people drives up onto the ship in a minibus, five of whom drive cars onto land, directed by the sixth. A total of around 40 experienced drivers are assigned to car-handling, i.e. carefully driving the cars off of the fully laden ships. The same procedure takes place in reverse during loading. The slow pace and the fact that the roads are one-way are advantages. There must be no damage. Staff wear gloves to avoid scratching the paintwork. Cars are expensive products, but unlike most other valuable objects they do not come in a protective wrapper.
The port services a range of brands and companies, including AutoLink and Motortransport. Toyota has its own supplier, Skandiatransport. Several different carriers operate car transport from the terminals, which means that it is possible to distribute to a range of destinations, regardless of whether the customer opts to use ship, rail or road.
As well as sending vehicles on their way, the distribution companies also make sure they are in tip-top condition when they reach the end customer. This is the responsibility of the modern, efficient Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) centre, which is ISO 9002 certified. This is where the cars are washed, dewaxed and inspected before delivery, and where any extra features are installed. The staff are well trained, and know that each vehicle requires time and care.
After being transported from countries such as the Czech Republic, France, Britain, Turkey, South Africa, the USA, Thailand and Japan, and following a stopover in Malmö, the cars are shipped to dealers in the rest of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia. When you next buy a car, open the door, breathe in that unique, luxurious smell, and spare a thought for how far your "baby" has travelled to reach you.
Toyota led the way
Toyota led the way to CMP, which is now the biggest Nordic port for the import of cars – it handles some 20 different brands and hundreds of thousands of vehicles each year. Not so long ago, only 35,000 cars a year passed through the port. That figure had multiplied tenfold.
Toyota was the catalyst behind this rapid expansion. In 2002, the Japanese brand decided to concentrate its Nordic imports in one port. It chose CMP, and entered into a 25-year agreement. Other car-makers followed suit, and the port now also houses brands like Honda, Peugeot, Citroën, Ford, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Meredes, Alfa Romeo and Isuzu – although 60% of the cars are still Toyota.