Shipping Mazdas: An Opportunity for Drivers to Show Off Their Skills
In March 1964, Mazda Motor Corporation, then known as Toyo Kogyo Co., Ltd., opened an auto transport wharf at the mouth of Enko River in Hiroshima.
The wharf was constructed to accommodate up to three 1,500-ton ships at the same time, with 3 state-of-the-art large cranes, so that cars coming out of delivery centre can be directly and immediately loaded onto a ship. 7 months later, an innovative car carrier ship, named “Dai-ichi Toyo-maru (Oriental #1)” went into service. The Dai-ichi Toyo-maru was a first-in-Japan car carrier ship that enabled Mazda to get rid of crane operation, because cars could be driven onto a ship.
(Mazda Ujina Factory and auto transport wharf back in 1964)
Mazda was quick to take advantage of its factory location which faced the mouth of the river, and started highly efficient marine transport as early as in the 1960’s. The company’s long history of marine transport and exceptional transport technologies are kept alive for the past 50 years.
A large car carrier ship with a total length of around 200 metres and 5,000+ unit carrying capacity is brought alongside the wharf on Mazda’s property. Brand-new Mazdas produced for export, such as the CX-5, are swallowed into a ship as large as a mountain one after the other. Inside the ship is an overwhelming sea of shining Mazdas.
Anyone would immediately notice that the brand-new Mazdas are parked with only around 10-centimetre space on both sides, with only around 30-centimetre space fore and aft. On a closer look, side mirrors are folded, and drivers quickly follow signals given by flagmen and nimbly and accurately park cars. Those drivers really know their job; to qualify as one of them would require not only excellent driving skills but natural talent as well.
Such is a journey of the all-new Roadster to the Continental U.S. – loaded onto a ship at Mazda’s wharf in Hiroshima and seabound for nearly 3 weeks. Thanks to its outstanding ship loading technologies rooted in Hiroshima, a home town facing the ocean and surrounded by mountains, Mazda continues to ship many brand-new models to countries across the oceans.
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