Case Study

Port secures new business through WTC Trade Mission

Inbound Investment Support

ServiceInbound Investment Support

A founding partner of World Trade Center San Diego (WTC) and an important asset for the region, the Port of San Diego often coordinates with WTC on maritime business development efforts in international markets. During WTC San Diego’s October 2019 Trade Mission to Germany, WTC, Port of San Diego, and Pasha Automotive Services leveraged the participation of Congressman Scott Peters in meetings with large automotive OEMs. These meetings led to new business opportunities for Pasha and the Port as well as increased visibility with potential customers that boast a significant global footprint.


Port of San Diego, Pasha Automotive Services


World Trade Center San Diego


Securing container shipments through the Port of San Diego can often be challenging due to its close proximity to the major commercial ports of LA and Long Beach. The Port of San Diego has, therefore, developed superior capabilities geared toward specialty cargos, like roll-on-roll-off commodities. This has allowed for a centralized focus on importing, exporting, handling, and processing autos at the National City Marine Terminal. This business is an important revenue source for the Port of San Diego and cultivating it is a strategic priority.


During its Germany Trade Mission in October 2019, WTCSD leveraged the participation of U.S. Congressman Scott Peters to secure meetings with three major auto manufacturers to facilitate new business and increase the frequency of existing business through the National City Marine Terminal.


  • A large German auto manufacturer inquired about a spot shipment for 300 transshipped automobiles through the Port in the months following the trade mission, and Pasha continues to follow up on spot shipment opportunities initially resulting from congested-related diversions from other ports. The manufacturer also sent representatives from its China team to assess the capabilities of the Port’s National City Marine Terminal.
  • A separate German auto manufacturer and the Port of San Diego are now exploring the potential for future exports out of National City – a long-term play, largely dependent on infrastructure improvements
  • Pasha has benefitted from closer relations with a third auto manufacturer team, as it embarks upon a $7M project to improve the OEM’s Port of San Diego facilities. This project is important for the retention of multiple OEMs, as the auto manufacturer autos are imported on vessels that also carry its line of automotive brands through Port of San Diego. By 2020, approximately 50 percent of all west coast electric Porsche units will enter the United States through this facility.


“World Trade Center San Diego’s high-profile trade missions to key international markets have brought together important decision-makers from our region and opened doors for the Port of San Diego to generate new business through our National City and Tenth Avenue Marine Terminals”

– Marshall Merrifield, Commissioner, Port of San Diego


Since 1947, Pasha has raised the bar on service standards for the automotive transportation market. Pasha Automotive Services (PAS) provides port-processing services for manufacturers of new and pre-owned vehicles. PAS’s operations are anchored at its flagship location at the National City Marine Terminal in the Port of San Diego, CA, with strategic locations also offered at the Ports of Grays Harbor, WA; San Francisco, CA; and Baltimore, MD.


The Port of San Diego serves the people of California as a specially created district, balancing multiple uses on 34 miles along San Diego Bay spanning five cities. Collecting no tax dollars, the Port manages a diverse portfolio to generate revenues that support vital public services and amenities. The Port champions Maritime, Waterfront Development, Public Safety, Experiences, and Environment, all focused on enriching the relationship people and businesses have with our dynamic waterfront. From cargo and cruise terminals to hotels and restaurants, from marinas to museums, from 22 public parks to countless events, the Port contributes to the region’s prosperity and remarkable way of life on a daily basis.