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Tracking A Shipment Of A Car From Start To Finish

After reaching out to more than 100 different brokers, dealerships, importers, trade centers and unions over the last four months, Investigative Newsource has finally received clearance to do something that we’ve been told has never really been done before: track a shipment of a car from start to finish — from the manufacturing plant in Germany to the customer’s door in Las Vegas.

The Jinsei Maru pulls in to the Port of San Diego on June 19, 2012, carrying thousands of automobiles from Germany.

The Jinsei Maru pulls in to the Port of San Diego on June 19, 2012, carrying thousands of automobiles from Germany.

Photo by Brad Racino

A worker aboard the Jinsei Maru watches from the top deck as the ship navigates alongside the National City dock.

A worker aboard the Jinsei Maru watches from the top deck as the ship navigates alongside the National City dock.

Photo by Brad Racino

The Jinsei Maru docks in National City at the Port of San Diego.

The Jinsei Maru docks in National City at the Port of San Diego.

Photo by Brad Racino

A worker aboard the Jinsei Maru works to dock the vessel.

A worker aboard the Jinsei Maru works to dock the vessel.

Photo by Brad Racino

Water drips from the Jinsei Maru's mooring lines after docking.

Water drips from the Jinsei Maru's mooring lines after docking.

Photo by Brad Racino

Longshoremen gather outside the Jinsei Maru for a safety briefing prior to offloading.

Longshoremen gather outside the Jinsei Maru for a safety briefing prior to offloading.

Photo by Brad Racino

Longshoremen from the ILWU offload cars aboard the Jinsei Maru on Wednesday, June 19, 2012.

Longshoremen from the ILWU offload cars aboard the Jinsei Maru on Wednesday, June 19, 2012.

Photo by Brad Racino

An audi is driven off the Jinsei Maru by an ILWU worker.

An audi is driven off the Jinsei Maru by an ILWU worker.

Photo by Brad Racino

All automobiles from Germany are shrink-wrapped to guard from "rail dust" — small particles of metals created by rail cars during transport.

All automobiles from Germany are shrink-wrapped to guard from "rail dust" — small particles of metals created by rail cars during transport.

Photo by Brad Racino

A worker inside the National City processing plant works to customize a VW after unloading

A worker inside the National City processing plant works to customize a VW after unloading

Photo by Brad Racino