A logistical nightmare is unfolding at European ports and shipping terminals.

Chinese-made electric vehicles are piling on as carmakers and distributors struggle to secure onward transportation at some of Europe’s busiest ports, including the Port of Antwerp Bruges in Belgium and the Port of Bremerhaven in Germany.

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China is the world's largest EV market.

The country wants to electrify the world with its expertise in cutting-edge battery technology and a string of new feature-rich models. But concerns are growing that China's EV manufacturing capacity far exceeds the global demand that it's trying to fulfill.

Several factors are converging to turn these ports into “car parks” as Chinese EV imports flood European markets, the Financial Times reported yesterday.

A lack of logistical framework seems to be part of the problem. Once these EVs are unloaded at European shipping terminals, Chinese OEMs are struggling to find truck drivers and commercial transportation to move them to dealer lots, the report said.

“Inland shipping in European markets is difficult [for Chinese EVs],” Cui Dongshu, the secretary general of the China Passenger Car Association, said. Another source FT spoke to said Tesla having reserved many trucks was partly causing this issue.

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The news comes at a time when Chinese carmakers like BYD, SAIC, Great Wall Motors, and Chery among many others are looking to expand overseas, especially in Europe and South America, as demand for EVs is cooling in their domestic markets, whereas their manufacturing capacity is soaring.

About two weeks ago, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was in Beijing to meet with Chinese officials, where she raised concerns about the country’s industrial overcapacity.

Yellen didn't announce any additional tariffs but said that China’s “growing negative spillover” was posing “significant risks” to workers and businesses in the U.S. and the rest of the world.

About a week later, China’s Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao vehemently denied these concerns at a summit in Paris.

Wentao organized the summit for “deepening practical cooperation in the electric vehicle industry between China and Europe,” where members from BYD, SAIC, CATL and Geely were also present.

He added that the accusations of “overcapacity” were “groundless.” 

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